Thursday, May 3, 2007

Digital Commonwealth: "This is a great opportunity for collaboration"

That's what Steven Dalton had to say about Digital Commonwealth -

The DC portal will be live around July 2007 - stay tuned! In the meantime, there's plenty of good information on their site.

Digital Commonwealth is seeking member institutions. Please visit their membership page to learn more:

This session is jam-packed with information. Here's a small taste.

Digital preservation - Steven Dalton
DC is *not* providing preservation services, but will provide information resources to help members. Example:

Many things can go wrong
  • poor quality image/sound
  • inadequate metadata
  • obsolescence of hardware/software, or hardware/software failure
  • loss of functionality
  • proprietary file formats
  • deficient back-up, poorly implemented migration strategies
  • human interference

How to address these problems?
  • address digitzation programmatically: know your collections, users' needs, and let products define creative process
  • codify selection policy & follow
  • comply w/ standards, best practices
  • establish quality benchmarks for digital products
  • commit to ongoing education

"This is a great opportunity for collaboration"

Decisions to be made
  • digitize in-house, or outsource
  • build a repository, or outsource

These programs cross departmental, institution, even disciplinary lines - involve appropriate stakeholders!

Virtual archives: Digital collections Gregor Trinkaus-Randall

  • Users retrieve info w/out human intervention
  • Enhance access
  • Remote retrieval of images
  • Extraordinary image quality
  • Possibility of full-text search, cross-collection indexing
  • Improve control over collections
  • Alternative format for fragile objects

  • Time and money
  • Investment in equipment
  • Institutional commitment to traditional preservation of source materials
  • Commitment to full integration of technology into info management processes
  • High risk of loss!

Project considerations
  • What purposes will digitized products serve?
  • ID characteristics of source docs - size, type, etc.
  • Capabilities of available technology
  • In-house or contracted out

As a library school student with a keen interest in digital collections, I greatly enjoyed this session. I'm looking forward to seeing the live portal this summer! Thanks very much to our presenters.

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