Digitization at GWBHS

Project Plan for Digitization: A Structural Manual for Policy Development at the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society

Type: Report | Digitization Plan
Description: Worked with the GWBHS alongside two Master’s students to craft a tailor-made digitization project plan intended for use by the GWBHS so that a digitization protocol, required staff, equipment, preparation, a timeline, cost, and options could be understood in accordance with their own resources, staff, ability, and budget. While giving a nod to best-practices, current software/hardware, and image-preservation protocols, our aim was to explain the need for high-quality digitization, associated metadata schematics, and file migration over time. This project is a follow-up to the previously written needs assessment survey of the GWBHS, where an overall preservation assessment was done on the museum and facilities. Here, specific requirements regarding a digitized photographic collection are introduced and explained for GWBHS board members. The report is broken down into five sub-sections that more clearly elaborate on a the considerations and necessities of a project plan:

  • Context for the Project – where previous findings from the needs assessment are summarized in brief, the value and importance of the GWBHS photographic collections are explored, and the risks/benefits of digitization are carefully described
  • Project Description – delineates the difference between analog and digital collections, and notes that the latter cannot replace the former. We talk about collections, objects, metadata, and initiatives as separate entities. Also included in this section are overarching goals for the project, and the complication involved in selection procedures – which should be the first decision regarding digitization, and take place prior to any other procedures
  • Preparation for Digitization – refers to the preparatory considerations, resources, and decisions that need to be made prior to actual digitization workflow. These include: labor (who will be responsible for leading out/supporting the project, or what vendor will be chosen if the project is outsourced), equipment, training protocols/materials, location/facility for digitization, budget, and timeline.
  • Technical Standards and Quality Assurance – this includes how to control digital objects (hardware/software), image capture parameters (ISO standard file formats – TIFF, and proper DPI, color space, and file sizes for digitized photos), quality control (metadata and digital object description), digital object management (managing personnel, data back-ups, digital storage, and quality assurance/metadata/file migration over time), managing the collection scope
  • Policy Re-evaluation – asserts that over time, several aspects of the collection should be reassessed and evaluated, troubleshooted, files should be migrated, and the scope of the collection/its pertinence to the GWBHS mission and goals evaluated. The following components should assessed regularly: project scope, file and metadata management, selection, audiovisual materials and borne digital material, job descriptions and training, timeline and costs

Date: Fall 2011
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