Digitization and digital projects

“Moving Theory into Practice” Digital Imaging Tutorial: Guide from Cornell University providing a comprehensive overview of the techniques, specifications and guidelines involved in digitization.

Minimum Digitization Capture Recommendations: Updated guidelines from ALA and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Preservation and Reformatting Section for digital capture of static and time-based media. Formats addressed include books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, audio, video and more.

OCLC’s Digital Imaging Project Preparation Toolkit: Documents that provide guidance on estimating the costs of a digital reformatting project and creating RFPs for your own institution.

DPLA Metadata Application Profile: Downloadable version of the current DPLA MAP which documents metadata structure and validation within DPLA and provides a basis for the API data structure.

Digitizing Video for Long-Term Preservation: An RFP Guide and Template: Step-by-step guide from NYU Libraries for drafting an RFP for digitization of analog video. Includes template and glossary of video preservation terms.

Lighting Methods for Photographing Museum Objects: By Carl Bigras, Mylene Choquette, and Jeremy Powell. Published by the Canadian Conservation Institute. This is a good reference manual, with illustrations, showing lighting setups that work well for various objects. (Requires knowledge on how to use manual controls on a DSLR camera, and understanding the differences between types of lenses.)

Light: Science and Magic: By Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua. This book is somewhat more theoretical and takes a lot longer to absorb. But it’s very useful for thinking about light and how it behaves. (Requires knowledge on how to use manual controls on a DSLR camera, and understanding the differences between types of lenses.)

Photographing Manuscripts: By Amy McCrory. Blog post on photographing manuscript material with a copystand camera set up with emphasis on specular lighting on reflective materials.


American Library Association copyright tools: ALA provides access to resources to help with copyright decisions, including the Public Domain Slider, the Section 108 Spinner, the Fair Use Evaluator, and the Exceptions for Instructors eTool.

Digital Copyright Slider: A detailed resource for determining copyright status of a work based on its date of first publication.

Columbia University Fair Use Checklist: Columbia’s Copyright Advisory Services unit provides this tool and associated information to evaluate whether activities fall under Fair Use using the four factors outlined in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act.

Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives and Museums: Written by Peter Hirtle, Emily Hudson and Andrew T. Kenyon, this article explores how professionals can understand and comply with copyright law in the changing digital landscape.

Recommendations for the Technical Infrastructure for Standardized International Rights Statements: White paper from the International Rights Statements Working Group, with representatives from Europeana, Creative Commons and DPLA. This paper offers recommendations for a shared set of rights statements to be used among cultural heritage organizations around the world.


DLF Assessment Interest Group: Wiki page for the DLF’s Assessment Interest Group which serves as a central location for documentation and collection of resources to assist those seeking to assess their digital libraries. The DLF AIG also has a Slack workspace and Google Group.

Association of Research Libraries SPEC Kit 341–Digital Collections Assessment and Outreach: This SPEC Kit investigates what methods ARL member libraries use to maintain the relevancy of their locally curated digital library collections, and to continue to sustain, grow, capture return on investment, and enhance existing resources through outreach and assessment. The survey also explores current practices for integrating digital resources into the research, teaching, and learning environment.

Preservation and sustainability

“Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections”: In-depth report from the Association of Research Libraries on the challenges involved in pursuing a digitization project that will be sustainable, accessible and relevant over time. Includes case studies, examples of good practice and markers of sustainability.

Digital Preservation Policy Framework: A Case Study: By Dan Noonan. A case study published in EDUCAUSE Review that documents the process of developing a digital preservation policy, and how to take incremental steps towards adopting one.

Promotion and statewide projects

Connecting to Collections new media resources: Presentation and handout on promoting your preservation efforts (digital or otherwise) through creative use of new media.

Ohio Digitization Hubs Project: Overview, timeline, contact information and more for the Ohio DigiHubs Project, funded with federal LSTA funds via the State Library of Ohio. Includes links to original grant proposal and four participating libraries around the state.

Ohio Digital Network: Overview of Ohio’s DPLA  service hub operating out of the State Library of Ohio. Includes information about contributing to DPLA, events, blog posts, metadata information, and information for users and educators.

last updated: 2019-12-03 || URL: || maintained by: John Dewees || questions or comments: john -dot- dewees -at- toledolibrary -dot- org