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Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections

Association of Research Libraries

Association of Research Libraries’ Searching for Sustainability (PDF) report includes eight cases studies about one of the biggest challenges facing libraries and cultural heritage organizations: how to move their special collections into the 21st century through digitization while developing successful strategies to make sure those collections remain accessible and relevant over time.


Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC)

Through ADBC, iDigBio provides a place for institutions to upload data and images of biological specimens for availability to the research community, government agencies, students, educators, and the general public.

Digitization: a simple guide for museums

Collections Trust – UK

The Collections Trust provides a helpful resource for museums to guide digitization projects.

Learning from the Getty’s Electronic Cataloging Initiative

Getty Foundation

The Getty Foundation shares its 2007 report entitled “L.A. Online: Learning from the Getty’s Electronic Cataloging Initiative” (PDF, 48 pages). This synopsis of their collaborative initiative to digitize the collections of museums and visual arts organizations in L.A. is useful to museums of all disciplines – both large and small – which are interested in pursuing a collections digitization project. The report explains the benefits of digitization and valuable lessons learned. It also provides testimonials, case studies, and includes a breakdown of the initial and ongoing costs museums can expect.

Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access

National Archives and Records Administration

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) shares its Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access. The guidelines define approaches for creating digital images to facilitate access and reproduction; they are not considered appropriate for preservation reformatting to replace original records. The document has information about best practices on metadata, imaging workflow, digitization specifications, storage, and quality control; it also includes a technical overview with essential information for those digitizing content for web access. The 87-page PDF can be accessed from this introductory page.

Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections

National Information Standards Organization

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) offers a comprehensive document called A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections (PDF). For each category of collections, objects, metadata, and projects, the Framework defines general principles relating to quality and provides a list of supporting resources such as standards, guidelines, best practices, explanations, discussions, clearinghouses, and case studies. The Framework has earned wide recognition in the museum and library communities.

Standards Portal

Society of American Archivists

Society of American Archivists shares their standards portal, which includes guidelines and best practices on administration, digitization, ethics and education.

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