Digitization

Consult resources aimed at helping cultural heritage institutions manage the digitization of their collections. Learn about existing standards and guidelines to ensure artefacts are scanned or photographed correctly.

Title Source
A Guide for Managers Planning and Implementing Digitization Projects

This publication is designed to guide museum managers through the planning and implementation of a digitization project. It covers issues such as non-digital images, new photography, the exposure and care of objects, copyright, storage and much more.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)

The Arts and Humanities Data Service is a UK national service funded by the Jisc and AHRC to collect, preserve and promote the electronic resources which result from research and teaching in the arts and humanities. By preserving collections made in the arts and the humanities, the AHDS encourages research and educational use of its collections and makes information about them available through online catalogues. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Artstor

Founded with a mission to enhance scholarship and teaching through the use of digital images and media, Artstor is a nonprofit organization committed to digital collection solutions for universities, museums, schools, and libraries worldwide.(Description taken from the website)

Other
Building Digital Collections: Technical Information and Background Papers

The American Memory historical collections at the Library of Congress are the product of a permanent commitment to explore and establish the best practices of digitization, online presentation and access, and digital preservation of historical materials. The information on this page documents current solutions to technical challenges and solutions devised and implemented in the past. (Description taken from the website)

Other
BCR's CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices, Version 2.0

Access the 2008 version of the Bibliographical Center for Research’s (BCR) Collaborative Digitization Program (CDP) Digital Imaging Best Practices. It is intended to serve as a guide for practitioners in cultural heritage institutions that seek to create images from physical objects. Originally published by the Colorado Digitization Program in 2003 as the Western States Digital Imaging Best Practices, this updated version reflects the many changes that have occurred in the field during the last five years. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Capture Your Collections - A Guide for Managers

Capture Your Collections - A Guide for Managers provides managers with key issues to consider when planning digitization projects. It covers the planning process through to implementing the project and maintaining digital collections. It also addresses issues such as non-digital images, new photography, the exposure and care of objects, copyright, storage and much more. It is intended as an introductory reference source for senior managers.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Capture Your Collections - Planning and Implementing Digitization Projects

Work at your own pace with this step-by-step tutorial for planning and implementing digitization projects. A series of course modules cover key digitization information, from why you should digitize to the costs and legal issues you need to know about. The course also provides a ‘Resources’ section on screen that links you to relevant information found on other websites. Contact the instructors at any time with questions or concerns by using the direct email link.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Capture Your Collections 2012 – Small Museum Version

The updated Small Museum version of the "Capture Your Collections" online training course has been specially designed to help volunteers, curators and managers working in regional, local and specialist museums, to better manage the process of image digitization.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Collections without Borders: Sustaining Digital Content at Cultural Institutions

While institutions continue to develop an array of digital content, and products, they often do so without giving enough consideration to the ongoing efforts and resources required to ensure their long-term viability. This case study explores how the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) successfully conceived and implemented a strategy to digitize its permanent collection and develop a durable database infrastructure. It offers a number of lessons for other institutions looking for ways to develop their own capacities and infrastructures, even if that development is more modest or takes place incrementally. The case study also features a useful Health Check Tool for Digital Content Creators in Cultural Heritage Institutions, developed in conjunction with the U.K.'s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the U.S.-based Ithaka S+R.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
DIG35 Specification

A metadata standard for digital images. The DIG35 Specification includes a "standard set of metadata for digital images" which promotes interoperability and extensibility, as well as a "uniform underlying construct to support interoperability of metadata between various digital imaging devices."

Other
Digital Asset Management and Museums - An Introduction

The number and variety of digital assets that are created and managed by museums is increasing every day. The purpose of Digital Asset Management (DAM) is to apply best practices to the creation, cataloguing and storage of assets so that they can be easily located, used and reused when needed. This resource introduces the concept of DAM and how it may benefit your museum's activities.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Audio Best Practice Version 2.1

This document provides guidelines and a set of best practices for cultural heritage institutions interested in converting analog audio recordings to digital formats.

Other
Digital Cultural Content Forum (DCCF)

The Digital Cultural Content Forum was established in 2001 to foster international information exchange among agencies engaged in the digitization and delivery of the global digital cultural heritage. Its objectives include fostering relationships, developing shared knowledge and undertaking activities to promote creativity, innovation and excellence in the digital cultural content sector.(Description taken from the website)

Other
Digital Imaging

Access links to digital imaging resources, standards, specifications and formats found on Conservation Online’s (CoOL) Web site.

Other
Digital Obsolescence Case Study - Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada

The Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada manages and displays portions of the National Currency Collection. In 2001, the Museum decided to digitize the collection to facilitate auditing and collection management, and work began in earnest in 2002. There are approximately 100,000 artifacts in the collection. We had two concerns about the digitization process. One involved the entries in our database, which included small versions of images, and the other was the large versions of the images themselves. This case study only addresses the images.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digitization Standards for the CMCC: Scan and Artifact Photography

This resource began as a working tool to improve digitization standards at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. As such, it uses actual examples taken from the museum collections. Other museums can use this document as a resource to build their own digitization standards—or to build reliable procedures on related topics. It can also be used as a quality-control tool for museums that wish to monitor the work of external digital suppliers, thereby helping to improve the quality of deliverables. This is not a detailed tool, nor is it final. It is a collection of basic guidelines that will change and evolve over time, as technology and knowledge develop.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Directory of Digitized Collections

Access a listing of major digitized heritage collections and on-going digitization programs worldwide provided through UNESCO’s Web site.

Other
Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative

A collaborative effort by federal agencies formed as a group in 2007 to define common guidelines, methods, and practices for digitizing historical content. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Good Practice Guide for Developers of Cultural Heritage Web Services

This guidebook provides advice on standards and best practices to organisations involved in the development of cultural heritage Web services. The content of the guidebook is based on the advice provided by the New Opportunities Fund (NOF)-digitise Technical Advisory Service (and others) to projects funded by the NOF-digitise programme. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Good Practice Handbook (for digitisation projects)

This document is a result of the Minerva project's good practice working group. It presents a practical handbook to the establishment, execution and management of digitisation projects, with particular focus on the cultural area (libraries, museums, archives). (Description taken from the website)

Other
Good practices in digitisation

Access a list of good practices in digitisation, already approved, as well as the date of approval by the National Representatives Group (NRG) and the filled in compilation form containing the description of the good practice and lessons learned. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials

This publication by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) set of principles and guidelines for good practice in the digital representation of cultural heritage and for the management of its documentation.

Other
Guidelines for Handling Image Metadata

These Guidelines for image metadata are produced by the Metadata Working Group, an alliance of digital camera manufacturers.

Other
Interoperability of Data for Electronic Commerce Systems (INDECS)

The Interoperability of Data for Electronic Commerce Systems (INDECS) framework was created by many organizations involved in the creation and management of digital content, for the purpose of supporting electronic commerce and the management of intellectual property rights. This model can be used to describe and identify intellectual property, the parties involved in the exchange of intellectual property, and the agreements between them.

Other
Introduction to Creating Digital Resources

This guide introduces key issues that anyone planning to create a digital resource for research, learning or teaching in the arts and humanities should consider. (Description taken from the website)

Other
ISO21000/MPEG-21

MPEG-21 is a multimedia framework, developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG), is designed to "enable transparent and augmented use of multimedia resources across a wide range of networks and devices used by different communities" It has a similar function to METS, in that it provides a framework for structuring sets of metadata and files representing complex digital resources (in particular, audio and video files). MPEG-21 includes a Rights Expression Language and a structure for a data dictionary. It allows the integration of the processes required to generate, manipulate, use, manage, and deliver multimedia files. MPEG-21 includes elements to support identification and description of digital resources, handling and usage of content, intellectual property management and protection, etc. It is intended to be machine-actionable (able to be used with hardware and software that will enforce licence provisions).

Other
JISC Digital Media Toolkit

JISC (the UK-based Joint Information Systems Committee) has produced an online resource to help organisations better understand the equipment needed for digitisation projects. This resource discusses the theory behind digitisation technologies, and provides some basics on the purchase and care for digital cameras, scanners, 3D scanners, and related equipment.

Other
JPEG2000

JPEG 2000 is a standard for digital images, developed by the Joint Photographic Expert Group. It is a new version of the original JPEG image standard.

Other
La numérisation : informations techniques

Directory of technical information on digitizing collections, from the French Department of Culture website. Available in French only.

Other
Lessons Learned from Digitisation Projects

This document proposes a number of potential challenges associated with the digitisation of a collection. It then examines the value of lessons learned from previous projects when attempting to meet those challenges. It is intended to be of use to resource management staff considering the digitisation of all or part of their collection. (Description taken from the website)

Other
MINERVA-list

MINERVA has created a discussion list on digitisation themes. The list is open to all people interested on the subject. (Description taken from the website)

Other
MPEG-7

MPEG-7 is a standard for describing features of audio and video content "so that users can search, browse, and retrieve that content more efficiently and effectively". It combines content metadata (title, creator, rights, information about people, objects, and events represented in the multimedia file, etc.) as well as technical metadata about the file. MPEG-7 is an ISO standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group).

Other
NISO Z39.87-2006 - Data Dictionary - Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images

This standard defines a set of metadata elements for digital images to enable users to "develop, exchange, and interpret digital image files. The dictionary has been designed to facilitate interoperability between systems, services, and software as well as to support the long-term management of and continuing access to digital image collections." Metadata for intellectual property and rights management is not included. This standard was written with large-scale digital repositories in mind, but is still useful for smaller repositories.

Other
Numérisation du patrimoine culturel

This issue of Culture et recherche constitutes the proceedings of the Paris conference of November 27 and 28, 2008, within the framework of the French presidency of the European Union. It presents Europe’s various achievements (national portals, networks, new services, private-public collaborations) and demonstrates the member states’ commitment to ensuring that everyone can access the digital heritage and making the Europeana platform a reality. (Description translated from the website) Available in French only.

Other
RLG DigiNews

This bimonthly Web newsletter provided indispensable reports on evolving practices and technology for digitizing materials and digital preservation of research collections, as well as in-depth coverage of notable projects in the field. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T)

The Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) is a professional international organization dedicated to keeping members and others apprised of the latest scientific and technological developments in the field of imaging through conferences, educational programs, publications, and its website. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Status of Technology and Digitization In the Nation's Museums and Libraries 2004 Report (USA)

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is committed to helping libraries and museums take full advantage of the power of technology. As part of its mandate to analyze needs and trends of museum and library services, the Institute is pleased to present the 2004 survey on the use of technology and digitization in the nation’s libraries and museums. (Description taken from the website)

Other
US Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative: Standards

This initiative is a collaboration between US federal agencies to "define common guidelines, methods, and practices to digitize historical content in a sustainable manner". The initiative includes the "Federal Agencies Still Image Digitization Working Group" (which will deal with image content such as books, manuscripts, maps, and photographic prints and negatives), as well as the "Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group" (which will deal with sound, video, and motion picture film). (Description taken from the website)

Other

Contact information for this web page

This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on Canada.ca.

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