Digitization - Basic questions

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Things to consider before, during and after a digitization project in an historical institution. Lecture by Daniel Jeller on the 13th September 2011 in Volterra.

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Digitization - Basic questions

  1. 1. DigitizationBasic questions
  2. 2. What is digitization?• The translation of analogue data into digital data• The process of taking a digital image of something• The creation of a digital representation of something
  3. 3. Why digitize? ?
  4. 4. Phases1) Initial reflections2) Preparation phase3) Metadata creation4) Actual digitization5) Postproduction6) Long-term storage
  5. 5. Initial reflections• What do I want to digitize?• Why do I want to do it?• Do I already have the necessary metadata?• What safety precautions are necessary?• Do I want to digitize myself or hire a company?• What will happen with the digital object, once produced?
  6. 6. Technical reflections• Image format (TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000,…)• Image quality (Resolution, Image compression)• Equipment (Scanner vs. Digital Camera)• Storage space (webhosting?)• Long-term storage• Filename (Human vs. Computer readable)
  7. 7. Scanner vs. Digital CameraScanner Digital Camera• Variable resolution • Constant resolution• Lower speed • High speed• Mainly for flat objects • Higher adjustability
  8. 8. Metadata for DigitizationWhy is this important?• Every digital object has to be identifiable• Most file systems only permit unique names• Changes to filenames are difficult to make after digitization
  9. 9. Preparation• Enough space• Constant indirect lighting, no direct sunlight• Tables for preparation• Enough power outlets
  10. 10. Digitization• Speed vs. Quality• Number of people depending on source material• Storage of sources during the night• Delivery of new sources• Quality control• Image postprocessing
  11. 11. Source material• Flat surface • Book• One sheet • Possibly very large• Possibly folded • Possibly difficult to• Possibly packaged open
  12. 12. File namingHuman readability Computer readability“HHStA_AUR_16890201_r.jpg” „7c7a1400-dd12-11e0.jpg“• Easy to read and share • Can be created quickly• Has to be created by hand before digitization• Easy to make mistakes • Has to be copied, not• Temptation to make entered by hand changes later on • Doesn’t mean anything • Can stay the same regardless of metadata
  13. 13. Postproduction• Image editing (cutting, compression,…)• Quality control (missing images)• Preparation for storage (file organization)

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