Document Digitization: protect and maximise the value of your data

Digitization has three primary objectives: first, to preserve and protect irreplaceable originals from loss or excessive handling; second, to make the information contained within them available to a much wider audience; third, to combine information from several documents to form a composite data archive.

To ensure effective digitization it is vital to understand how the digitized material will be used and what benefits they need to deliver. This is defined at the process scoping phase with a close eye on the whole life of the digitized documents, including integration with the over-arching data ad IT strategy.

The digitization process is based on the document types (scanned images, manuscripts, etc), the volume of documents (large-scale digitization, selective digitization) and the core objectives which the digitized versions need to deliver. This process should adhere to quality control and evaluation standards to ensure the long-term life of the digitization.

Steps include:

  • Selection & assessment of documents based on the clearly defined objectives
  • Prioritization & preparation of documents for digitization
  • Meta-data collection
  • Digitization of documents
  • Updating of digital records to repositories.

Prior to digitization it is important to consider how the documents will be indexed, stored and accessed by users. To this end it is essential to capture clear, comprehensive and detailed meta-data as part of the archive scope, architecture and creation.
Meta-data creation should consider and define all the relevant document attributes. It should be in accordance with the technical standards and user community defined guidelines to ensure long-term access of digitized documents.

SBL supports organizations to define and implement digitization processes. For more than a decade SBL has digitized billions of records for Government departments, Libraries and for Publishers. SBL’s ability to digitize multilingual records from different formats (including age-old manuscripts, microfilm, images) has added value to numerous international companies and organisations.

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