BASICS OF DIGITAL PROJECTSE M I LY P F O T E N H A U E RO U T R E A C H S P E C I A L I S T, W I S C O N S I N H E R I TA ...
TODAY’S AGENDA• Introductions  • Wisconsin Heritage Online; examples of digital projects• Planning for a digital project  ...
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, DIGITIZE?• Selecting materials• Reformatting materials  (scanning or  photographing)• Adding metadata  (...
WHAT IS WISCONSIN HERITAGE ONLINE?• A public research portal providing access to digital  collections of primary sources r...
PLANNING A DIGITAL PROJECT• Identifying your goals• Identifying your  stakeholders, partners  and audience• Selecting mate...
IDENTIFYING GOALS: WHY DIGITIZE?        (CONTRIBUTIONS FROM AUDIENCE)•   Save photos for future generations•   Access for ...
IDENTIFYING GOALS: WHY DIGITIZE?• Go where your  audience is• Reach new audiences• Improve access to  “invisible” material...
STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS• Board• Staff and/or volunteers• Local experts• Community members• Chamber of Commerce• Local go...
AUDIENCES• Local residents• Students and teachers• Genealogists• Specialists (Civil War re-  enactors, railroad buffs)• Ac...
SELECTING MATERIALS•   Photographs•   Postcards•   Letters•   Diaries•   Scrapbooks•   Yearbooks•   Newspaper clippings•  ...
SELECTING MATERIALS• Careful selection will help  keep your project focused,  manageable, and useful• Keep your audience i...
SELECTING MATERIALS• Consider your existing mission  statement and/or collection  development policy• An online collection...
CONSIDERING COPYRIGHT• Disclaimer: I am not a  lawyer• Owning a physical item does  not necessarily mean you  hold the cop...
CONSIDERING COPYRIGHT• Works under  copyright, copyright holder  is known:  • Contact copyright holder IN    WRITING to re...
USE OF YOUR DIGITAL CONTENT• Fair Use. Under US copyright  law, individuals can use the  low-resolution materials you  mak...
SAMPLE RIGHTS STATEMENTS• For an item presumed to be in the Public Domain:  • There are no known restrictions on the use o...
POTENTIAL PROJECT COSTS• Flatbed scanner• Digital camera and  related equipment• Internet access• Digital storage• Archiva...
FUNDING• Grants  • Historical societies: WI Council    for Local History mini-grants  • Public libraries: LSTA    Digitiza...
DIGITAL PRESERVATION• Definition from the Library of  Congress:  • The active management of    digital content over time t...
DIGITAL PRESERVATION• Save more than one copy of  each file• On more than one type of  storage media• In more than one loc...
PHYSICAL PRESERVATION• Don’t compromise  collections care in order to  digitize• A digital project can be an  ideal time t...
TIPS FROM OTHER DIGITIZERS• If I could do it all over again, I would:  • Tackle a smaller group of materials at first  • M...
SAMPLE PROJECT PLAN• What: Approx. 100 glass negatives depicting Main Street  between 1880-1900• Why: To improve access to...
PUTTING YOUR PLAN INTO ACTION• Digital imaging  •   Scanning photographs  •   Scanning texts  •   Object photography  •   ...
SCANNING• Goals of scanning:  • Create a digital representation    that’s faithful to the original    item  • Create the h...
SCANNING PHOTOGRAPHS• Scan all photographs in 24-  bit color, even if image is  black and white• Scanning resolution (ppi)...
TIP: USE YOUR HISTOGRAM• A histogram is a graph that  shows the distribution of dark  and light pixels in a digital  image...
TIP: LEAVE A BORDER AROUND IMAGE
TIP: SCAN THE BACK IF HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT
SCANNING DOCUMENTS• Handwritten texts  • Scan in 24-bit color to    retain character of    original  • 300-400ppi is gener...
SCANNING DOCUMENTS• Printed texts  • Scan in 8-bit grayscale or    24-bit color  • 300ppi is generally    sufficient  • Us...
GENERAL SCANNING TIPS• Use  advanced/professional/cust  om mode, not basic mode• Don’t use any auto  correction settings• ...
OBJECT PHOTOGRAPHY• Digital camera  • SLR that can shoot RAW    files (can convert to TIFFs)• Tripod• Two adjustable light...
NAMING YOUR FILES• Use only lower case letters, numbers, and dashes or  underscores• Don’t use spaces or punctuation• Use ...
METADATA: WHAT IS IT?• Information about stuff• Technical metadata =  information about the  digital file (size, type, etc...
BASIC DESCRIPTIVE METADATA ELEMENTS• Title• Description• Subjects (tags, keywords,  search terms)• Creator (photographer, ...
ASSIGNING TITLES• Descriptive and unique• Capitalize first word and  proper names• Not so good:  • Woman and man  • Woman ...
WRITING DESCRIPTIONS• Expand on the information provided in the Title• Record information about people, places, events and...
WRITING DESCRIPTIONS• Not so good (too little):  • People with apple trees.• Good:  • A woman and a man in an apple    orc...
METADATA: WHERE DO I PUT IT?• Software solutions compatible  with the WHO portal  • CONTENTdm (hosted by    Milwaukee Publ...
DIFFERENT MATERIALS, DIFFERENT APPROACHES• Printed texts   • Scanning straightforward but can be     time-consuming (lots ...
ENCOURAGING USE OF YOUR COLLECTIONS• Google is not enough• Moving away from “if you  build it, they will come”  approach• ...
WHO PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS• Quarterly email  newsletter• Facebook  • facebook.com/wisconsin    heritage• Twitter  • twitter.c...
LOCAL PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS• Add introduction/background  information on your own website  •   http://www.newberlinhistorica...
WHAT NEXT?• Interested in participating in  Wisconsin Heritage Online?  • Consult with me about a project    you might hav...
THANK YOU!E M I LY P F O T E N H A U E RO U T R E A C H S P E C I A L I S T, W I S C O N S I N H E R I TA G E O N L I N EE...
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Basics of Digital Projects

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Presented at the Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin, May 14, 2012. Part of the Wisconsin Historical Society's spring workshop series.

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Basics of Digital Projects

  1. 1. BASICS OF DIGITAL PROJECTSE M I LY P F O T E N H A U E RO U T R E A C H S P E C I A L I S T, W I S C O N S I N H E R I TA G E O N L I N EE P F O T E N H A U E R @ W I L S .W I S C . E D U
  2. 2. TODAY’S AGENDA• Introductions • Wisconsin Heritage Online; examples of digital projects• Planning for a digital project • Why digitize?; Selecting materials; Copyright; Digital preservation• LUNCH @ noon • Sharing projects in progress• Putting your plan into action • Imaging; Metadata• Promoting your project• Questions and discussion• Finished @ 3:00pm
  3. 3. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, DIGITIZE?• Selecting materials• Reformatting materials (scanning or photographing)• Adding metadata (descriptive information)• Making available online• Storing and maintaining digital files and data (digital preservation) Wisconsin Historical Society
  4. 4. WHAT IS WISCONSIN HERITAGE ONLINE?• A public research portal providing access to digital collections of primary sources related to Wisconsin history from libraries, historical societies and museums across the state: wisconsinheritage.org• A statewide set of standards and guidelines for digitizing historical primary source materials• A resource network providing training, consulting and collection hosting services to members• Sponsored by Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS) with support from the Nicholas Family Foundation
  5. 5. PLANNING A DIGITAL PROJECT• Identifying your goals• Identifying your stakeholders, partners and audience• Selecting materials• Considering copyright• Budget• Funding• Planning for digital preservation New Berlin Historical Society
  6. 6. IDENTIFYING GOALS: WHY DIGITIZE? (CONTRIBUTIONS FROM AUDIENCE)• Save photos for future generations• Access for research, awareness• Educational purposes• Closer access; deeper access• Make rare/local/unique available• Protect fragile documents from handling• Easier to organize and find• Encourage contributions/fill in blanks• Revenue (purchase reproductions; encourage donations)• PR for institution• Googleability• People can identify images
  7. 7. IDENTIFYING GOALS: WHY DIGITIZE?• Go where your audience is• Reach new audiences• Improve access to “invisible” materials• Protect fragile or heavily used materials• Learn more about your collections• Contribute to our collective knowledge South Wood County Historical Museum
  8. 8. STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS• Board• Staff and/or volunteers• Local experts• Community members• Chamber of Commerce• Local government• Students• Other organizations in your community/county/regio n McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids• Who else?
  9. 9. AUDIENCES• Local residents• Students and teachers• Genealogists• Specialists (Civil War re- enactors, railroad buffs)• Academic researchers• Curious Wisconsinites• Everyone! College of Menominee Nation
  10. 10. SELECTING MATERIALS• Photographs• Postcards• Letters• Diaries• Scrapbooks• Yearbooks• Newspaper clippings• City directories• Local histories• Magazines• Pamphlets• Maps• Material culture objects• Oral histories• Sound recordings• Video recordings• What else? Appleton Public Library
  11. 11. SELECTING MATERIALS• Careful selection will help keep your project focused, manageable, and useful• Keep your audience in mind: How will putting this item online help users better understand local or state history?• Is information available about the item, or is more research needed?• Physical condition of original materials• Copyright status Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
  12. 12. SELECTING MATERIALS• Consider your existing mission statement and/or collection development policy• An online collection is not a substitute for a collection inventory or other internal recordkeeping• Two approaches: • Curatorial: Select materials based on a specific theme/topic/type of object/photographer • Organizational: Digitizing as an opportunity to sort that mystery box in the archives• Digital New Zealand: Make it Digital Scorecard Neville Public Museum of Brown County http://makeit.digitalnz.org/
  13. 13. CONSIDERING COPYRIGHT• Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer• Owning a physical item does not necessarily mean you hold the copyright to that item• Public domain = no longer under copyright. In the US in 2012 that means the item was: • published before 1923 –OR– • Unpublished; creator died before 1942 –OR– • Unpublished; unknown creator; made before 1892 UW-Milwaukee Libraries • http://copyright.cornell.edu
  14. 14. CONSIDERING COPYRIGHT• Works under copyright, copyright holder is known: • Contact copyright holder IN WRITING to request permission to make available online• Works presumed to be under copyright; copyright holder is unknown or cannot be located • Due diligence has been made to identify and locate copyright holder • Be prepared to remove item from digital collection if Three Lakes Historical Society challenged
  15. 15. USE OF YOUR DIGITAL CONTENT• Fair Use. Under US copyright law, individuals can use the low-resolution materials you make available online for personal use, research or teaching purposes• Publications or other commercial uses require permission of the copyright holder• You may choose to sell reproductions—prints and/or high-resolution digital files—of materials in your collection (with permission of the copyright holder where applicable) Langlade County Historical Society
  16. 16. SAMPLE RIGHTS STATEMENTS• For an item presumed to be in the Public Domain: • There are no known restrictions on the use of this digital resource. Contact [your institution] to purchase a high-resolution version of this image.• For an item under copyright; copyright holder has granted permission to put online: • This image has been published with permission of the copyright holder and has been provided here for educational purposes only. Commercial use is prohibited without permission. Contact [your institution] for information regarding permissions and reproductions.• For an item in which copyright status is unclear: • This material may be protected by copyright law. The user is responsible for all issues of copyright. Contact [your institution] for information regarding permissions and reproductions.
  17. 17. POTENTIAL PROJECT COSTS• Flatbed scanner• Digital camera and related equipment• Internet access• Digital storage• Archival storage supplies• Outsourcing imaging to a commercial vendor• Be sure to budget for TIME and SPACE Merrill Historical Society
  18. 18. FUNDING• Grants • Historical societies: WI Council for Local History mini-grants • Public libraries: LSTA Digitization of Local Resources grants (Dep’t of Public Instruction)• Donations• In-kind contributions • Tech support • Equipment use• Biggest expense is TIME • Paid staff time • “Free” volunteer time • Students/interns Ripon College
  19. 19. DIGITAL PRESERVATION• Definition from the Library of Congress: • The active management of digital content over time to ensure ongoing access.• Two threats to digital content: • Obsolescence • Physical damage• http://digitalpreservation.gov Beloit College
  20. 20. DIGITAL PRESERVATION• Save more than one copy of each file• On more than one type of storage media• In more than one location• Document what, where, when and how• Spot-check annually• Migrate as necessary• Recommended storage options: • Archival quality (gold) CDs or DVDs • RAID device • External hard drive • Network storage Wetherby Cranberry Library • Cloud storage (online backup)
  21. 21. PHYSICAL PRESERVATION• Don’t compromise collections care in order to digitize• A digital project can be an ideal time to assess collection conditions and rehouse materials• Resources for collections care: • Wisconsin Historical Society Field Services staff • Wisconsin Archives Mentoring Service • National Park Service Conserve-O-Grams Richland County History Room
  22. 22. TIPS FROM OTHER DIGITIZERS• If I could do it all over again, I would: • Tackle a smaller group of materials at first • Make sure two people started the project at the same time so we could help each other • Start with a clearer plan • Take the time to sort and research the physical collection before digitizing• Other things I learned: • Volunteers/local residents are the best source for historical information • Looking at examples of similar collections is helpful to figure out what you’re doing; it’s also inspiring and can spur some competitiveness • Uploading one item at a time can go faster than working in batches if you’re working with a lot of interruptions • Having a firm deadline helped me stay on track
  23. 23. SAMPLE PROJECT PLAN• What: Approx. 100 glass negatives depicting Main Street between 1880-1900• Why: To improve access to a fragile collection and to document a period in our community’s history when local commerce flourished downtown• Who: Jane Smith will coordinate the project and handle copyright and reproductions; two volunteers from the local high school will scan images and rehouse in archival sleeves; two board members will do historical research and write descriptions• When: 25 images online before our annual meeting in September; full collection online by April 2013• How: Scan slides using Epson Perfection V600; store images on archival DVDs and Carbonite online backup; record metadata in Excel spreadsheet and upload to online collection
  24. 24. PUTTING YOUR PLAN INTO ACTION• Digital imaging • Scanning photographs • Scanning texts • Object photography • File naming• Metadata • What is it? • Basic elements • Where does it go? Milwaukee Public Library
  25. 25. SCANNING• Goals of scanning: • Create a digital representation that’s faithful to the original item • Create the highest quality scan you can achieve with available resources • Scan once—don’t expect to return to re-digitize• Save two copies of each scan: • High resolution TIFF (20- 40MB) for archiving and printing • Lower resolution JPEG (1-5MB) for online collection, email, easy access UW-Madison Archives
  26. 26. SCANNING PHOTOGRAPHS• Scan all photographs in 24- bit color, even if image is black and white• Scanning resolution (ppi) depends on size of original item • 8 ½ x 11 or larger = 300ppi • 8 x 10 = 400ppi • 5 x 7 = 600ppi • 4 x 2 or smaller = 1200ppi• Slides and negatives require a transparency unit and holders to keep slide from touching scanner glass (these may come with your UW-La Crosse scanner)
  27. 27. TIP: USE YOUR HISTOGRAM• A histogram is a graph that shows the distribution of dark and light pixels in a digital image• Using the Histogram function improves the accuracy/fidelity of your scan • Do a preview scan • In advanced/professional/custom mode, select the Histogram function • Move the left and right sliders to each end point of the histogram • Do not move the sliders INTO the histogram • Scan the image
  28. 28. TIP: LEAVE A BORDER AROUND IMAGE
  29. 29. TIP: SCAN THE BACK IF HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT
  30. 30. SCANNING DOCUMENTS• Handwritten texts • Scan in 24-bit color to retain character of original • 300-400ppi is generally sufficient • If feasible, create a transcription • Use care when unfolding papers or handling tightly bound volumes Wisconsin Historical Society
  31. 31. SCANNING DOCUMENTS• Printed texts • Scan in 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit color • 300ppi is generally sufficient • Use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to make the text computer- searchable • May be provided with your scanner software • ABBYY Fine Reader • Adobe Acrobat • OCR is never 100% L. E. Phillips Memorial Library, Eau Claire accurate, but that’s ok
  32. 32. GENERAL SCANNING TIPS• Use advanced/professional/cust om mode, not basic mode• Don’t use any auto correction settings• Dust scanner bed regularly• Designate a specific space for scanning and keep it relatively uncluttered (no coffee!)• Handle each item carefully and return it to its storage location when you’re done scanning Waterford Public Library
  33. 33. OBJECT PHOTOGRAPHY• Digital camera • SLR that can shoot RAW files (can convert to TIFFs)• Tripod• Two adjustable lights (500 watts)• Reflective umbrellas (or sheets)• Paper or cloth backdrop Photo setup at Pabst Mansion
  34. 34. NAMING YOUR FILES• Use only lower case letters, numbers, and dashes or underscores• Don’t use spaces or punctuation• Use leading zeroes for consecutive numbering. For example, a multi-page letter could have file names mac001.tif, mac002.tif, mac003.tif, etc.• Tie your file names to existing catalog numbers if possible• Document any file naming conventions you develop• Examples: • Photograph with accession # 2011.32.1 = 201132001.tif –OR– 2011_32_001.tif • Series of images by photographer John Smith = smith001.tif, smith002.tif, smith003.tif • Not so good: Glassplate16039 Auto repair in basement 025.tif
  35. 35. METADATA: WHAT IS IT?• Information about stuff• Technical metadata = information about the digital file (size, type, etc.)• Descriptive metadata = information about the content of the item (what are we looking at?)• Lets users find what they’re looking for• Organized, standardized, consistent, searchable Grant County Historical Society
  36. 36. BASIC DESCRIPTIVE METADATA ELEMENTS• Title• Description• Subjects (tags, keywords, search terms)• Creator (photographer, author, maker, manufacturer)• Date• Location• Materials• Extent (dimensions, page numbers) UW-Milwaukee
  37. 37. ASSIGNING TITLES• Descriptive and unique• Capitalize first word and proper names• Not so good: • Woman and man • Woman and man, trees• Good: • Woman, man and child in apple orchard • Ida and Peter Swartz with son James in apple orchard, Wausau
  38. 38. WRITING DESCRIPTIONS• Expand on the information provided in the Title• Record information about people, places, events and themes depicted in the item• You can provide historical information (if cited), but don’t get bogged down in too much detail• Remember your audience is broad. Provide enough information to add meaning for non-local users• Make use of other metadata elements for information like dates and materials• Don’t use abbreviations, ampersands (&) or paragraph breaks (hard returns)
  39. 39. WRITING DESCRIPTIONS• Not so good (too little): • People with apple trees.• Good: • A woman and a man in an apple orchard with wooden barrels filled with apples. A child rides a tricycle at the right.• Not so good (too much): • A woman wearing a hat and dress and a man in overalls stand in front of an apple tree. Twelve barrels containing apples are lined up in a row in front of them. The roof of a barn is visible behind the trees. Apples were a popular crop in America in the 19th century thanks to Johnny Appleseed. The first commercial apple orchard in Wausau was established in . . .
  40. 40. METADATA: WHERE DO I PUT IT?• Software solutions compatible with the WHO portal • CONTENTdm (hosted by Milwaukee Public Library) • ResCarta • Omeka.net (Gold, Platinum plans)• Not directly compatible with WHO (but can be moved to a compatible option) • PastPerfect • File Maker Pro • Microsoft Access • Excel spreadsheet • Omeka.net (Basic, Plus, Silver plans) Wisconsin Folksong Collection, UW-Madison
  41. 41. DIFFERENT MATERIALS, DIFFERENT APPROACHES• Printed texts • Scanning straightforward but can be time-consuming (lots of pages); metadata usually straightforward; need to OCR• Handwritten texts • Scanning straightforward; metadata relatively straightforward; transcripts recommended• Photographs • More care in scanning; more detail in metadata• Maps and other oversized items • Outsource scanning to a vendor• Artifacts • Object photography needs more equipment and more space; more detail in metadata• Sound and video • Talk to me Mineral Point Historical Society
  42. 42. ENCOURAGING USE OF YOUR COLLECTIONS• Google is not enough• Moving away from “if you build it, they will come” approach• Bring your content to your audience—find them where they already are• Let them look behind the curtain and see projects in progress, warts and all• Participatory archives concept—shared authority, community Milwaukee Public Library engagement
  43. 43. WHO PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS• Quarterly email newsletter• Facebook • facebook.com/wisconsin heritage• Twitter • twitter.com/wiheritage• Tumblr • wiscohisto.tumblr.com• Viewshare Rock County Historical Society
  44. 44. LOCAL PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS• Add introduction/background information on your own website • http://www.newberlinhistoricalsociety.org• Highlight an item of the day/week/month • https://www.facebook.com/lacrosse. history• Host an opening event • Whitefish Bay Public Library • College of Menominee Nation• Host a slide show or exhibition • South Wood County Historical Museum • Mineral Point Historical Society• Press release to local media• What else? South Wood County Historical Museum
  45. 45. WHAT NEXT?• Interested in participating in Wisconsin Heritage Online? • Consult with me about a project you might have in mind • Sign on as a member ($50 or $100 annually) • Fill out our Collection Hosting Application to have your collection hosted in CONTENTdm by the Milwaukee Public Library • Schedule a training session with me to get started on creating metadata and uploading items • Get your collection harvested into the WHO portal Marquette University
  46. 46. THANK YOU!E M I LY P F O T E N H A U E RO U T R E A C H S P E C I A L I S T, W I S C O N S I N H E R I TA G E O N L I N EE P F O T E N H A U E R @ W I L S .W I S C . E D U

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