ContentsSelectionIntroConversionQuality Control-definitionMetadata-definitionTechnical-digitization chainPresentation-introDigital Preservation-introManagement-in-house facilityContinuing Education
Management-project budgetsManagement-in-house vs outsource

9. Management

Key Concepts

project life cycle
in-house vs. outsource
in-house facility
project budgets
project monitoring
looking beyond

additional reading



Establishing an in-house facility requires an institution to support the full digitization chain with appropriate staff, space and facilities, equipment and supplies, and to absorb time and expense associated with ramping up. Many of these resources will have to be provided, albeit to a lesser degree, when outsourcing some or all of production.

Staff will be needed for the following tasks: identification, selection, preparation, digitization, metadata creation, quality control, cataloging, data loading, systems support, and management. Depending on the institutional configuration and the extent of the imaging program, staff will also need to be hired to develop and maintain the image database and Web delivery system. Staffing the project requires decisions on the types, levels, and numbers of staff, the ratio of managers to workers to students, a program to train staff, and the identification of an administrative home. Sample job descriptions for imaging staff can be located by searching the archives of various mailing lists, such as Conservation DistList, DIGLIB, and IMAGELIB or by searching employment postings for various professional organizations, such as Library and Information Technology Association, ALA, or the Society of American Archivists.

Dedicated Facilities must be identified and furnished to support the imaging effort. Consider hiring a consultant or choose a value-added retailer who can advise on facility requirements as well as hardware/software components and system integration. Allow 75 to 150 square feet per person, depending on the work to be performed. There must also be adequate and secure workspace to prepare and store materials for scanning (e.g., tables, shelves). The Library of Congress calculates table space at 6 times the size of the largest object to be digitized to promote safe handling and ordering of materials. Consider too equipment "footprints," especially if a staff member is responsible for operating more than one machine (e.g., multiple scanners). The facility must also provide the requisite communications—phone/data lines, LAN connections, and UPS (uninterrupted power supply) protection. It must support appropriate environmental controls, including proper HVAC, air filtration, and controlled lights (overhead and ambient). Scanning equipment and lights can raise temperatures, especially in confined areas. Consider workflow in designing the room configuration. Equipment includes the requisite hardware, software, and supplies to support the digitization chain:

• Hardware
• Scanning devices
• High resolution monitors
• Workstations
• Peripherals
• Servers and storage devices
• Printers
• Software to support the following
• Operating system, networking/server/graphics support, programming packages
• Scanning, image editing, viewing, color management, quality control
• Derivative creation
• File management, workflow management
• Indexing, OCRing, structuring
• Database management system
Other equipment and supplies
• Copy stands/cradles/lights/lenses
• Quality control equipment and supplies
• Routine office supplies
• Storage media, paper, ink cartridges
• Documentation, technical manuals, reference publications

Written procedures for handling, scanning, metadata creation, quality control, and other functions should be developed and consistently applied. The Library of Congress National Digital Library Program, The Technical Advisory Service for Images, and the Arts & Humanities Data Service in the UK provide various papers, reports and procedural outlines that can serve as models. See also A Feasibility Study for the JISC Imaging Digitisation Initiative.

Reality Check

Correlate the Activity with the Project Phase (select more than one, where appropriate):

Project Phase

(1) pre-project
(2) ramp up
(3) production
(4) conclusion
(5) post-project



hiring staff
purchasing equipment
grant writing
developing procedures
locating a vendor
contracting for services
cataloging digital products
resolving remaining problems
preparing final report
transferring custody of digital products to other units
quality control

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Management - in-house vs. outsourceManagement - project budgets

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