Digitization and CVL Collections
Cultural heritage organizations that wish to participate in CVL Collections need to have at least one collection in a digital format, ready to be uploaded and cataloged in a digital collection management system.
We realize that for many of our future partners, digitization might be a new process. While the Colorado State Library does not provide direct support for digitization, we can consult with you on your collection and steps for moving forward with your project. You will find additional guidance in the form of this Digitization Toolkit. Finally, we encourage you to look for partners in your area that have expertise in digitization.
Introduction to the Digitization Toolkit
Digitization is not simply making a digital copy of an object. It is a process of collecting, reformatting, cataloging, storing, and sharing digital objects. There are many online resources that can help you understand the digitization process, and we certainly encourage you to explore them. However, if you are new to digitization, you may find that some online resources are overly complex for your immediate needs; that is why we created this toolkit, to help simplify some of the steps in this process.
The digitization workflow can be broken down into four steps: Select, Digital Capture, Catalog and Share. Your organization will Select an appropriate collection to digitize, then Digitally Capture the objects, meaning you will create digital surrogates by scanning, photographing, and converting them.
The Colorado State Library will provide training on how to Catalog your objects using metadata standards aligned with the PPC and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). You will then Share your collection’s metadata with the PPC from a content management system or a CSV file.
Further Reading on the Digitization Process
- New Self-Guided Curriculum for Digitization, DPLA, 2015
- Digitization Guidelines, Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiatives, 2018
- Best Practices and Planning for Digitization Projects, WebJunction, 2012
- Digitization Services Products and Services, National Archives Records Administration (NARA), accessed 4/16/18.
Your costs associated with digitization will vary according to how you perform the digitization work, plus staff time and training needs. Be aware that some of these costs might be ongoing.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Will you be doing the digitization work in-house or outsourcing it to a vendor?
- What are your vendor costs?
- Will you need to purchase or rent any digitization equipment?
- Will you purchase a proprietary CMS or pay a vendor to support an open-source CMS? Or will you pay a membership fee to join a consortial CMS?
- Will you need to purchase or upgrade any parts of your technology infrastructure?
- Will you need to migrate digital content from an existing platform?
- Will you be working exclusively with public domain items, or will you need to perform rights management work?
- How much training will your staff need, and where will they get that training?
- How much staff time will be needed for cataloging?
Further Reading on Cost
- Digitization Cost Calculator, Digital Library Federation