ContentsSelectionIntroConversionQuality Control-definitionMetadata-definitionTechnical-digitization chainPresentation-introDigital Preservation-introManagement-project budgetsContinuing Education
Management-communicationManagement-in-house facility

9. Management

Key Concepts

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

additional reading



A major concern of management is to project costs and develop budgets representing the full range of costs:

  • Direct expenses, including staff salaries/wages and benefits; management overhead; equipment/software; supplies; services and contracts; maintenance, licenses, copyright clearances and use fees, and communication fees; and replacement costs.
  • "Ramp-up" costs, which can be considerable, especially for first time projects or those involving untested methods. These costs include developing RFPs, establishing workflow processes and documentation, system configuration, training and other expenses incurred by the institution prior to project launch. Typically not supported by outside funders, but they should be documented. Factor in a "generous curve" from project inception to production.
  • Contingency covers unanticipated expenses; not traditionally an "allowable" expense with US funding agencies, but increasingly recognized by UK and European funders. Contingency will vary from project to project, depending on complexity, staff experience, and size of effort.
  • Indirects/overhead, often a negotiated rate, which includes space, utilities, services, and general and administrative support, calculated on the total direct costs. Cornell's federally negotiated rate for 1999-2003 is 57%. In some countries a value-added tax (VAT) is calculated on the direct costs.
  • Cost-share. Institutions are often required to or voluntarily cover some of the costs associated with imaging projects, such as all or part of indirects. Cost-share is a real expense and should be calculated.
  • "Hidden" costs. Institutions typically support imaging projects out of other projects or programs. Under-reporting such contributions conveys a false sense of project costs.

There is no consensus on what it costs to create digital image files, much less maintain them and make them accessible. Available figures vary tremendously with the types of material being scanned, the image-conversion and metadata requirements, hardware/software used, and the range of functions covered in the calculations. Some institutions provide cost figures, percentage breakdowns, and future estimates. Note, however, that their cost assessments will differ. Specific costs must be calculated based on local conditions. RLG maintains a Worksheet for Estimating Digital Reformatting Costs that details various components to include in estimating budgets for image creation. See Additional Reading for reports and articles on costing.

The following sites provide information on digital funding sources, although the information may be slightly dated:

United States

Europe & the United Kingdom


Note: we are interested in referencing lists of funding sources for other countries; if you can help, drop us a line.

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Management - in-house facilityManagement - communication

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