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The Library of Michigan supports digitization efforts throughout the state by providing consulting for libraries and cultural heritage institutions. While we do not digitize materials for you, we have many resources available to help guide your digitization initiatives. Click here to sign up for the Digital Digest eUpdate!
Consulting - Biz Gallo, Statewide Digitization Initiatives Coordinator, provides consulting on digitization programming and resources for the state. Reach out to Biz at GalloB@michigan.gov or 517-335-1402.
Training - The Library of Michigan presents webinars on a wide range of topics, including the Digitization Basics series. Visit the Continuing Education Opportunities page to register or view recordings of previous webinars on the Webinar Archives page.
Digital Collections Hosting - If you are interested in having your collections hosted on the Library of Michigan's digital platform, fill out this digital hosting request form.
Equipment - Digitization Kits are now available to borrow for small-scale digitization projects at your library! Kits include everything needed to digitize most materials, from scanners to laptops and software. Click here to learn more about Digitization Kits and reserve one today!
Grants - The Library of Michigan administers LSTA funds to support library, museum, and information services, including digitization. Find more information about LSTA grant funding here.
PROGRAMS & PARTNERS
The Library of Michigan also partners with the following organizations to preserve and make accessible collections from the Great Lakes State.
The Michigan Service Hub aims to extend and enrich the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) with the state of Michigan's many digital cultural resources. The Michigan Service Hub aggregates content from a variety of partners through a series of regional hubs in Michigan. Regional hubs collect metadata from libraries, archives, historical societies and museums in their area, and share that data with the DPLA.
Michigan Memories provides access to collections from cultural institutions throughout the state of Michigan. These collections are created and maintained by archivists, librarians, and curators who are dedicated to the preservation of Michigan's history and heritage. Michigan Memories celebrates the diverse voices and communities of our state and serves to inform and enlighten students, teachers, genealogists, history buffs, and everyone with an interest in the Great Lakes State.
Michigan Digital Preservation Network (MDPN) is a member-governed, collaborative organization dedicated to preserving Michigan's digital cultural heritage materials and leveraging our shared resources to make digital preservation accessible to all institutions.
Library of Michigan Digital (LMDigital) provides online access to uniquely Michigan materials including content digitized from our own collections, born-digital content captured from Michigan web publishers, and opportunities presented by partnerships and collaborations with individuals, groups and organizations interested in recording and promoting the Michigan story.
Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal (DMNP) is a comprehensive, publicly accessible, online tool available to researchers that identifies digital Michigan newspaper resources. With content from over 1,000 newspapers, all 83 Michigan counties are represented in this portal.
The Mid Michigan Digital Practitioners (MMDP) is a regional collective of librarians, archivists, museum curators, conservators, historians, scholars and more engaged in creating and curating digital collections in Mid-Michigan and the surrounding region. Its mission is to provide an open and local forum for conversation, collaboration and networking for professionals working with digital collections in Michigan. If you have a specific question you can consult the Directory of Experts to identify MMDP members who self-identified as having specific skills in the area of digital records and have volunteered to be listed as a resource.
Digital Collections Office Hours
Join experts from the Library of Michigan, DPLA Michigan Service Hub, and the Michigan Digital Preservation Network for free advice during monthly open office hours! Office Hours will be held virtually the first Thursday of every month from 10:30 - 11:30 am and are open to any staff or volunteers at libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, or other cultural memory organizations. Register for office hours and receive the Zoom link. Come for a question, stay to join the discussion!
The following sections provide additional resources for exploring digitization on your own:
INTRODUCTION TO DIGITIZATION
If you are new to digitization, or just need a refresher, explore these Digitization Basics videos. This webinar series lays the foundation for creating a successful digitization project; you can build your knowledge by watching the whole series or selecting specific topics.
Adhering to standards and best practices is essential for ensuring quality, longevity, and interoperability of digital files. Take some time to review the following resources for standards and best practices:
- Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) Guidelines
- Library of Congress - Preservation Guidelines for Digitizing Library Materials
- Digital Imaging Best Practices Version 2.0
While it may be tempting to jump right into the scanning stage, a lot of planning and preparation is needed before undertaking a digitization project. These helpful resources can make sure you are as prepared as possible before you start your project!
- Digitization Project Planning Guide
- DPLA's Planning for Digitization (part of self-guided curriculum)
- Web Junction's Best Practices and Planning for Digitization Projects
What are the cost considerations of digitization?
Remember that you will not only be storing the master files, but also duplicate copies and access copies of files. Estimate that access copies will be about 10% of the storage size of the master images. Use the tools below to help estimate the size, and therefore storage costs, of our digitized collections.
- File Size Estimators:
- Digital File Format selection
USING A VENDOR OR DIGITIZING IN-HOUSE?
Should you digitize in-house or use a vendor? The following resources will help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which option is best for your library.
If you decide to use a vendor, you can review sample Requests for Proposal and use them as a guide for creating your own.
If you decide to digitize in-house, here are some resources for finding the right scanning equipment for your library.
- Digitization Equipment Selection Matrix
- The Sustainable Heritage Network: Scanners: Good, Better, Best
Whichever method you choose, the Library of Michigan encourages you to add your feedback via the following forms to help others by sharing your knowledge and experience. Please note, these resources are for information only. The Library of Michigan cannot endorse nor recommend specific vendors or brands. Libraries should contact vendors and other experts for advice and to ensure that their choice reflects the unique needs of that library.
SCOPE & SELECTION
Not everything should, or even could, be digitized. Time, funding, and storage capacity are all limited, so how do you decide where to spend your precious resources? The following tools will help you in selecting material for digitization.
- The Five A's: A Digitization Decision Guide
- DPLA's Selecting Content for a Digitization Project (part of self-guided curriculum)
- NEDCC Preservation and Selection for Digitization
Audiovisual materials (audio, video, and film) have additional preservation considerations due to equipment availability and format obsolescence. These resources will help you prioritize and plan digitization of AV material.
- Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) is a free online tool to identify audiovisual formats in your collection.
- Museum of Obsolete Media's Media Stability Ratings will help you prioritize formats in your collection for digitization.
These are resources for exploring copyright and how it my impact your digitization project. Remember to always contact your organization's legal counsel with specific questions or reach out to the Library of Michigan's Law Consultant Clare Membiela.
- DPLA's Understanding Copyright (part of self-guided curriculum)
- Cornell University Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
- OCLC's Well-intentioned Practice for Putting Digitized Collections of Unpublished Materials Online
- Open Copyright Education Advisory Network (OCEAN)
- Standardized Rights Statements for Cultural Heritage Institutions
FUNDING FOR DIGITIZATION
Statewide & Regional Grants
- Improving Access to Information Grant Program (LSTA)
- Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan
- Digital Michigan Newspaper Grant Program
- Michigan History Alliance Grant Program
- Michigan Humanities Grant
- Save Michigan History Grant
- Council on Library & Information Resources (CLIR)
- Digital Preservation Outreach and Education Network (DPOE-N)
- Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
- Library of Congress
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
- National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF)
- National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Religious Organization Specific
Don't see a relevant grant resource listed here? Send grant information to Biz Gallo to include on the funding resource page!
Metadata, or information that describes data, comes in many types (such as descriptive, technical, and administrative) and flavors (such as Dublin Core, MODS, and METS). Good metadata is essential for ensuring access to and long-term stewardship of your collections. Below are resources for understanding and assigning good metadata to your digital collections.
- DPLA's Using Metadata to Describe Digital Content (part of self-guided curriculum)
- NISO Understanding Metadata Primer
- Dublin Core Basics
- MODS Official Website
Quality control is an important part of the digitization process as it allows you to identify errors (such as blurry images, incorrect filenaming or directory structure, or missed pages), as well as ensure that images meet specifications (resolution, file format, color profile, etc.). The following resources will give you an overview of quality control measures to implement in your digitization project process.
- Sustainable Heritage Network's Guide to Quality Control and Quality Checklists
One of the key drivers behind digitization is to improve and enable access to materials. Make sure that access to your digitized collections is part of your project plan using the resources below:
- DPLA's Promoting Use of Your Digital Content (part of self-guided curriculum)
- LMDigital, the Library's digital repository for providing access, is developing new ideas about how to partner with and support libraries and cultural heritage institutions to share and showcase their collections online.
- Once your materials are online, consider sharing them with the DPLA through the Michigan Service Hub! This free resource aggregates digital content from partners throughout the state of Michigan to extend and enrich the DPLA with the state's many digital resources!
Digital preservation is key to ensuring access to your digital materials over time. These resources will help you manage the activities necessary to maintain your digital files for as long as necessary:
- DPLA's Digital Reformatting and File Management (part of self-guided curriculum)
- Michigan Digital Preservation Network is a great resource for ensuring the long-term preservation of Michigan's digital cultural heritage materials.
- Digital Preservation Coalition's Digital Preservation Handbook
- US-CERT's Data Backup Options or the "3-2-1 rule"
IMLS FUNDING STATEMENT