From Laying the Keel to Raising the Mast: Anatomy of a Digitization Project
Conference Booklet Description: “Ever been interested in undertaking a digitization project? This presentation outlines the experiences of planning and implementing the Sailors’ Snug Harbor digitization project undertaken at The Stephen B. Luce Library. From conceptualization to fund raising to project management to delivering the end product, this session tracks the timeline of this modest-sized digitization project from beginning to end. Discussions will include aspects such as staffing, equipment and software, metadata, web design and content management. Also, some of the more challenging experiences and drawbacks will be covered.”
My Thoughts: This session was particularly interesting to me because on a lesser level, this is similar to the internship project I am working on at Wallace Library. The session walked us through an overview of all of the steps it takes to create a digital collection, some of which were new to me. There was more than one “Oh, I should remember that for my project!” moment.
One thing that was discussed was the flexible meaning of preservation. When librarians digitize something, they are not truly preserving it in the traditional sense of the word. This is because the formats for digital files are always changing, and it is unknown if in the future, PDF’s for example, will be readable. So instead of preserving the actual item in digital form, digitizing preserves the item by decreasing the amount of handling. The digitized version can be used by a number of people while the original item remains untouched, in the same state it was in before digitization.
Other interesting points were in regards to following standards for different documents for this collection. They used the Western States Digital Imaging Best Practices for scanning and Dublin Core 2.1.1 for metadata. It was also interesting learning about the three different images they have to create:
- The archival image: This is the image that would be the saved, preserved file, in TIFF format, the original image, usually around 70 mg
- The derivative: This is the copy everyone would use, usually scaled down in size to about .5 mg
- The thumbnail: This is the copy that would be used for searches, and is even smaller in size than the derivative.