Creating your digitisation strategy

Planning for digitisation

How you approach the planning of your digitisation work really depends on what kind of digitisation it is. If you are going to be running a time-limited project to digitise an identified part of your collection, then a specific digitisation plan will almost certainly meet your needs. If you’re going to be building digitisation into the ongoing work of the museum (for example as part of a condition checking or conservation procedure), then it makes sense to write it into your existing procedural manual template.

When developing a plan for your digitisation, you will need to consider some or all of the following:

Strategy and aims
  • Why are you digitising?
  • Who are you digitising for?
  • What kinds of use do you want to be able to support?
  • What are your museum’s aims and objectives from your project?
Scope and content
  • What are you going to digitise?
  • Does the prioritisation of your project reflect the priorities in your collections development policies?
  • Which parts of your collection are suitable/robust enough for digitisation?
  • Which technologies are you going to use and/or support?
  • Is the funding secured to pay for the digitisation?
Running your digitisation project
  • What technology or equipment will you use?
  • Which formats will you capture?
  • Who will do the actual scanning/photography?
  • Where will you store the images and associated information?
  • What copyright information will you capture?
  • What additional information (eg tags) will you create to help find your content?
Planning for access and use
  • How will people find and access your content?
  • Where will your search portal live?
  • How will you quality-control the content over time?
  • How will you make sure it continues to be accessible for years to come?

There’s a lot to think about when planning a digitisation project. The clearer you can be about the answers to these questions before you get started, the more likely you are to have a successful project and really useful content.

Date created: 2015

Author: Collections Trust

Publisher: Collections Trust