Digitizing Special Collections
Libraries with special collections struggle to make their vast holdings of rare and unique materials discoverable and accessible in an era of increasing expectations that content will be available online. Institutions with vast unique holdings are challenged, however, to find ways to address selection, costs, copyright and other issues related to digitization.
To help address issues around making special collections digitally accessible, OCLC Research has produced a number of reports that challenge the library and archival community to reexamine practices. This body of work, which includes white papers and how-to guides that detail best practices, helps practitioners and managers make collections more accessible in a digital age.
- Rapid Capture: Mass Digitization of Special Collections
An investigation into digital capture methods used by those who are making progress digitizing special formats at scale. The report: Rapid Capture: Faster Throughput in Digitization of Special Collections (pdf).
- Streamlining Photography and Scanning
This working group addressed workflow and policy issues arising from digitizing materials from special collections and then making copies available to users. Two reports Scan and Deliver: Managing User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives (pdf) and "Capture and Release": Digital Cameras in the Reading Room (pdf).
- Introduce Balance in Rights Management
This activity identified strategies for analyzing and developing acceptable risk behaviors and recommending practices for libraries and archives. Report: Well-intentioned practice for putting digitized collections of unpublished materials online (pdf).
- Shifting Gears: Gearing Up to Get Into the Flow (pdf)
This essay summarizes the outcomes of the 2007 meeting Digitization Matters. A call to action to ensure that special collections are “in the flow.”
- Mass Digitization and Partnership Agreements
A commissioned paper providing advice for public/private partnerships in digitization: Good Terms - Improving Commercial-Noncommercial Partnerships for Mass Digitization