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.