RECORDS MANAGEMENT
ARCHIVES AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES CONSULTANTS IRISH ARCHIVES
ARCHIVES MANAGEMENT ELECTRONIC RECORDS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION MICROFILM AND REPROGRAPHICS OFFSITE STORAGE SCANNING AND DIGITISATION RECORDS MANAGEMENT

Martin Bradley, Digitisation Consultant
Library of Congress Digitisation Standards
NLA Digitisation Standards


SCANNING / DIGITISATION
 

WHY SCAN OR DIGITISE?

Scanning/Digitisation of material is normally for one of two purposes. Either it is carried out as a means of Document Management, in that it allows multiple users to look at the same document at the same time while removing the necessity of holding the original on-site, or it is used as a means of preserving documents by making them available to researchers without exposing the originals to wear-and-tear. Scanning/Digitising also allows remote access to documents through the internet or by publishing on CDROM. Scanning/Digitisation also, like microfilm, allows for great savings in space, and through proper use of metadata tags, allows for accurate searching of large quantities of material.

TECHNICAL OVERVIEW

A useful acronym when approaching a Scanning/Digitisation project is SOAP; Scan Once for All Purposes. Scanning is a labour intensive purpose, and can be costly, so make sure each image produced is of high quality, then worry about producing different versions (e.g. compressed for website use) later. The 'master' copy of each file should be treated as an archival document and kept as true to the original as possible. Multiple copies of this file should be kept in a number of locations, preferably off-site, as this offers some protection against possible data corruption/damage. Versions of the master file for use, in publications, websites or intranets, should be created from the master file using Paintshop Pro, Adobe Photoshop or similar graphics manipulation software, and stored as entirely seperate files from the master.

RESOLUTION AND BIT DEPTH

Resolution of a Scanned/Digitised document is expressed in DPI, or dots-per-inch. The higher the DPI, the more accurate the image, but the greater the size of the file being created. Basic considerations for choosing DPI are the size of the original and the amount of fine detail on the original. For a useful chart to help choosing DPI for different document types see the Library of Congress standards. Bit Depth refers to the amount of colour captured in the image. In general terms a 1-bit image will be black and white, an 8-bit image will have 256 shades of grey or colour, and a 24-bit image has many millions of shades of colour. 



Martin Bradley has wide-ranging experience of scoping, staffing and delivering digitisation projects from small, bespoke collections of a few hundred images to wide ranging capture of millions of individual items including audio, video, documents of all shapes and sizes, maps, plans, photographs, negatives, microfilm, and microfiche. Contact him below to get your project started.

Email info@archives.ie

Records Management Consultants Archives Management Scanning FOI E-Records


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