UHM Library holds a large number of collections that would be appropriate for digitization and online access. However, digitization projects are costly and require a commitment of staff time. The following list of criteria is recommended to guide selection of collections of analog materials for conversion to digital format. Selection is an activity led by content managers and specialists with the help of D-CARP.
What is the copyright status of the materials? Most material considered for digitization and access on the open Web falls into one of the following three categories:
Significance of the Collection
Significance depends on a number of indicators, but it is always the subjective judgment of a librarian, archivist, curator, or faculty member. The following questions may be used to establish the significance of a collection:
Current and Potential Users
There is some evidence that digitization always increases use, but current use is still an important indicator:
Organization and Descriptive Metadata
No matter how important a collection might be, the collection must be organized and described before it is ready for digitization.
If there is no form of description by way of a finding aid, catalogued entries, etc., project planning and project costs will increase.
Relationship to Other Digital Collections
It is important to contribute to "critical mass" of digital materials in the subject whenever possible. By complementing existing online collections, the value of your collection will enhance the subject area and, in turn, the user experience.
Formats/Languages/Nature of the Materials
Some formats are more established for digitization and online delivery than others. D-CARP is best equipped to provide sustainable access to text, photographs, other 2-D visual materials, and compressed audio. We do not currently support the online storage and delivery of video.
Foreign-language materials require project staff who are proficient in the language(s), which may add to the difficulty of assembling the project team. Creation of text for non-Western languages requires the creatir to enter text in this language and it may not be possible to provide searchable text, either corrected or uncorrected.
Materials must be able to withstand the handling necessary for digitization. If the determination has been made that the items can withstand digitization, the condition of the material will also be a factor in deciding whether to outsource digitization or perform the work in-house.
Sources of Funding
Digitization projects are funded with internal university funds and external grant funds. The goal is to match a high-priority project with the appropriate funding source. The best approach with regard to grant funding is to develop skeletal outlines for digitization projects for a number of important collections and then research potential funding sources. Once a good match has been found, the details of project planning can be finalized, bringing the project in line with funding requirements and evaluative criteria as closely as possible.
The following criteria are designed to assess strengths and weaknesses of a proposed project and promote an analytical approach. They should be used to establish a strong rationale when requesting support from internal or external sources but they do not have equal weight, and not all may be relevant to any given project.
[adapted from: http://www2.library.ucla.edu/libraries/2639.cfm, accessed 10/30/08]
Hawaiian/Pacific Collections and appropriate collection development librarians set the priority for materials to be digitized and for cooperative digital projects, in consultation with appropriate colleagues in DNS, Cataloging and Preservation departments, and other collections.
PRIORITY based on:
a. Importance of collection
b. Need to disseminate information
c. Availability of information elsewhere
d. Availability of funding
e. Availability of staffing
f. Form of final digital product (language, where hosted or archived, fee-based or free, etc.)
a. Purpose of project
c. Copyright clearance process
e. Description of collection
i. Processing, pre and post digitiztion
j. Digitizing standards and quality control
l. Access and standardized search method
m. Future considerations
n. Cooperative projects
- June 2006