New Report, "Scan and Deliver: Managing User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives"

This report presents strategies for providing efficient and economical delivery of digital copies of materials in special collections.

Changes in technology and the increased visibility of special collections have led to greater user interest in accessing special collections, as well as the expectation that reproduction requests will be fulfilled with digitized images. This combination has resulted in a deluge of user-generated requests for digital copies of special collections in an environment in which the digitization process can be labor-intensive and digitization policies vary widely across institutions.

To address these issues, OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership Working Group on Streamlining Photography and Scanning investigated factors affecting digitization-on-demand workflows and ways to reduce cumbersome workflow and policy issues. They did this by evaluating current local practices, investigating ways to simplify institutions' user-initiated digitization workflows and identifying common strategies for streamlining the process of creating and delivering digital images to users.

This report details their work and its result—a flexible, tiered approach to delivering digitized materials that acknowledges differences in user needs, collections, institutions, and resources. This tiered workflow for user-initiated digitization consists of four main steps: review, decide, scan, and deliver.

By adopting this approach, librarians and archivists can make access the top priority, streamline user-initiated digitization workflows and leverage digital technology to deliver special collections and archives to users efficiently—while more easily meeting their own high standards and encouraging the evolving use of special collections and archives.

More Information

View the report overview page for Scan and Deliver: Managing User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives

Read the report itself (.pdf: 166K/18 pp.)

Learn more about the streamlining photography and scanning project

For more information:

Jennifer Schaffner
Program Officer
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research