Helen Lindsay

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Digitisation assessments

Assessments for digitisation can take the form of an appraisal of an entire collection, or specific items which pose a particular difficulty to the scanning process.

Common challenges for digitisation of archive material can include:

  • text not visible in the gutter of a binding
  • brittle paper which breaks on flexing
  • items too large for the scanning table
  • tightly folded items which will not lie flat
  • text obscured by folds, creases and crumpled edges

Digitising material that is dirty or extremely damaged can reduce user satisfaction, carries reputational risks and can have a significant impact on the speed of scanning. A digitisation assessment can help to prioritise the risks and set out pragmatic and cost effective options to consider as part of your programme of work.

Digitised material Digitised material

Selected case studies

Client Project
Lloyds Register An assessment of ships annals and wreck reports for digitisation revealed a number of concerns which needed to be resolved during the pilot project. The resulting report provided estimates and options for treatment and archive packaging. Following the initial report on the pilot, the consultant was invited to join the Project Advisory Group for the full digitisation project.
John Innes Centre Historical Collections A digitisation scooping survey provided an image count from selected material, costings, advice on project management and issues relating to cataloguing & scanning.
JISC & Wellcome Trust Project This project consisted of three digitisation surveys of 19th century printed books for the UK-Medical Heritage Library (UK-MHL) project.
HMS Warrior Preservation Trust A digitisation options appraisal provided analysis on: the strategic need to digitise the archive, cataloguing issues, collection needs, equipment, outsourcing, a phased approach to a scanning projects and information on the choice of digital formats.
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