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Digitization homepage

Page history last edited by Rose Fortier 11 years, 5 months ago

Welcome to the Digitization Homepage. Here you will find resources to help with your digitization efforts. At this time, the page focuses on scanning for digitization, but information on other aspects of digitization is forthcoming.


Digitization is a process or series of processes beyond simple reproduction of an object into a digital analog. Digital reproduction, i.e. scanning, is simply the first step to digitization, and as this guide details, it isn't precisely the first step. Next steps include text creation (for text-based materials), research and metadata creation for records, and finally the uploading of the processed digital materials in an online repository (in this case in the Catholic Portal).


The basic overview of scanning guidelines is followed by a more detailed synopsis of each aspect of the process. For more on each aspect of scanning and digital file processing, navigate to the Scanning Homepage.


Table of Contents


Here are the basic digital processing standards at a glance.  Download a PDF copy of this document.


These scanning guidelines are recommendations and should be followed for all projects. The goal is to create a digital master copy that is an exact digital match to the original item.


All digital projects should be completed to the preservation level whenever possible. The standards set in this guide follow preservation guidelines.


The first step should always be assessment. Assessment of the materials will help to inform many of the decisions that will be made throughout the entire process of digitization.


Extremely important after assessment are plans for the preparation and handling of the materials to be scanned.


It is important to scan images at a high resolution to help capture all of the visually available information in the image. If the digital file starts to degrade, the higher resolution will hopefully provide enough information to save the image with less loss. Higher resolution will also help the patron or researcher to see more information in the image and therefore identify more about the image which helps preserve the history.


Recommended file formats should be non-lossy formats such as TIFF or WAVE. A JPEG is a compressed file is further compressed every time it is saved. The file is compressed further by stripping away what the computer sees as extra information that is not needed. As a result, over time the file will start to reduce in size and certain tones and colors will be less vibrant or clear.


The files should be stored on a secure device and backed up to other devices which are preferably stored in a separate location. This will preserve the files in case of natural disaster, human error, or equipment failure.


Cropping the images closely but leaving enough to still show the entire item is important to help preserve the overall view of the item being digitized. It is important to prove that nothing has been cropped off of the original so that the patron or researcher knows that they are getting the entire item if they want it.


A scanning spreadsheet (download a sample scanning spreadsheet) for each project will help with capturing information used in preservation metadata. The metadata captured in the spreadsheet can provide a map showing each person that has altered or manipulated a file and for what reason. It provides technical information captured at the time of the scan which can be reviewed over time to see if there are any issues with the resulting file. It also allows for future review of materials scanned on specific equipment or at a specific computer if a problem arises that should be reviewed in previous files.


The color space should be set to Adobe RGB instead of the standard SRGB. SRGB is meant for screen use only so that the image will present well on screens but when printed will not look nearly as crisp or clean. Adobe RGB has a wider color gamut so when the image is on screen or printed it will look equally good. This setting best preserves the original look and feel of the item for patrons interested in digital and analog copies.


Quality control can help with the preservation process as well because it will guarantee that the digital copy is accurate and set to the required standards.


For more information on scanning, check out the Scanning Homepage.


Text Creation (more to come)


Research and Metadata (more to come)


Uploading to Repository (more to come)


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