Thursday, August 14, 2008

Digitizing primary sources

A colleague and I had another one of our "brilliant ideas" on helping our local historical museum to digitize its many primary source documents and photos with the ultimate goal of making these available to local schools and the community in general.

I came across the Institute of Museum and Library Services website which had information about the National Leadership Grants. In the grant guidelines PDF which I downloaded I found this treasure trove of links related to digitization which I include here for my own reference, but also for others who may be interested in this topic.

Resources for Digitization Projects
IMLS has published “A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections” as a
resource for applicants planning digital projects. This document is now maintained by the
National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and is available at . The second edition of this document contains links to many Web sites with useful information for planning and implementing digital projects. IMLS offers a wealth of information, including lists of funded digital projects, at the Digital Corner on the IMLS Web site at

The list of resources below, provided to help you learn more about digital projects, is neither
exhaustive nor an endorsement by IMLS of any particular resource.

Many universities, organizations, and businesses provide training in digitization and related
topics. The following are examples only—check the general resource lists for leads to more
training opportunities and the topic lists below for training resources in specific subject areas. Moving Theory into Practice:
Digital Imaging Tutorial, by Cornell University Department of Preservation and
Collections Maintenance. —The Southeastern Library Network offers training in digital imaging,
copyright, digital preservation, and other related topics. —OCLC (Online Computer Library
Center) provides seminars, workshops, and online training in digital projects,
preservation, copyright, and other topics related to digitization.
General —The Collaborative Digitization Program’s Web site
(born as the Colorado Digitization Project) offers many digitization resources that include
information about copyright, metadata, digitization standards, and administrative
concerns. —Building Digital Collections: Technical
Information and Background Papers, Library of Congress American Memory Project. —Technical Guidelines for
Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access: Creation of Production Master Files–
Raster Images, by Steven Puglia, Jeffrey Reed, and Erin Rhodes, U.S. National
Archives. —The American Museum of Natural History’s
Digital Library Project Web site has information on and links to resources on many
topics, such as planning, standards, and digital resources management. —Digitizing Images and Text, the Berkeley Digital
Library portal, links to resources on digitization projects, resources, and tools. —The Maine Memory Network provides
guidance and resources for its contributing cultural institutions such as libraries,
museums, archives, and historical societies. —The University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign Digital Imaging Media Technology Initiative provides resources about many
digitization topics, including a listing of current imaging programs, organizations, and
committees. —The Canadian Heritage Information Network has
information on creating and managing digital content. —The Handbook for Digital Projects: A
Management Tool for Preservation and Access, a Northeast Document Conservation
Center site, offers nine chapters from a handbook on project management, scanning,
copyright issues, technical topics, best practices, vendor relations, and longevity.
Includes many links to related sites. —The Digital Library Federation has publications on a
range of topics including digital image management and preservation. —Bibliotheca Alexandrina provides Digital Assets Factory
(DAF) digitization workflow tools. —The Bulletin of the American Society for Information
Science and Technology, vol. 30, no. 5, June/July 2004, contains a special section about
online museum information. —DigiStates online discussion list for people
working on collaborative statewide projects for the digitization of cultural heritage

Metadata —Metadata Demystified,
by Amy Brand, Frank Daly, and Barbara Meyers (Sheridan Press and NISO Press,
Introduction to Metadata: Pathways to Digital Information, edited by Murtha Baca (Getty
Research Institute, 2000).
Descriptive Metadata Guidelines for RLG Cultural Materials, by the OCLC Research
Library Group. —Best Practices for
OAI Data Provider Implementations and Shareable Metadata, by the Digital Library
Federation/National Science Digital Library. —PBCore: Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary, for
public broadcasters’ television, radio, and Web activities.
Preservation of Digital Material —Digital Preservation Management:
Implementing Short-term Strategies for Long-term Problems, a tutorial by the Cornell
University Department of Preservation and Collections Maintenance. —D-Lib Magazine has many articles on preservation of digital materials.
Intellectual Property —Center for Intellectual Property, University
of Maryland University College. —Copyright Management Center (CMC), Indiana University–
Purdue University Indianapolis.

Universal Access —The World Wide Web Consortium’s guidance and resources on Web
accessibility for people with disabilities. —The Trace Center’s Designing More Usable Web Sites
presents resources on universally accessible Web guidelines, compliance with Section
508, and forums for discussing accessibility issues. —WebAIM is a nonprofit organization within the Center for Persons
with Disabilities at Utah State University.

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