2. Selection

Contents Selection- other criteria Intro- digital images Conversion Quality Control Metadata Technical Presentation Digital Preservation Management Continuing Education
Selection-intro Selection-policies
Key Concepts

legal restrictions
other criteria
selection policies

additional reading



The following issues should also be considered in choosing materials for digital conversion. Under each category, pose and answer a range of questions such as the ones suggested in order to highlight their effect on selection.

Document Attributes
Does the material lend itself to digitization? Can the informational content be adequately captured in digital form? Do the physical formats and condition of the material represent major impediments? Are intermediates, such as microfilm or slides, available and in good condition? How large and complex in terms of document variety is the collection? (See Conversion)

Preservation Considerations
Would the material be put at risk in the digitization process? Would digital surrogates reduce use of the originals, thereby offering them protection from handling? Is the digital reproduction seen as a means to replace the originals?

Organization and Available Documentation
Is the material in a coherent, logically structured order? Is it paginated or is the arrangement suggested by some other means? Is it complete? Is there adequate descriptive, navigational, or structural information about the material, such as bibliographic records or a detailed finding aid? (see also Metadata)

Intended Uses
What kinds, level, and frequency of use are envisioned? Is there a clear understanding of user requirements? Can digitization support these uses? Will access to the material be significantly enhanced by digitization? Can your institution support a range of uses, e.g., printing, browsing, detailed review? Are there issues around security or access that must be taken into account (e.g., access restricted to certain people or use under certain conditions?)

Digital Collection Building
Is there added incentive to digitize material based on the availability of complementary digital resources (including data and metadata?) Is there an opportunity for multi-institutional cooperation? For building thematic coherence or "critical mass?"

Duplication of Effort
Has the material already been digitized by another trusted source? If so, do the digital files possess sufficient quality, documentation, and functionality to serve your purposes? What conditions govern access and use of those files?

Institutional Capabilities
Does your institution have the requisite technical infrastructure to manage, deliver, and maintain digitized materials? Do your principal users have adequate computing and connectivity to make effective use of these materials? See Technical Infrastructure for specific information on technical components to consider in such an evaluation.

Can you determine the total cost of image acquisition (selection, preparation, capture, indexing, and quality control)? Is this cost justified based on real or perceived benefits accruing from digitization? Are there funds to support this effort? Is there institutional commitment to the on-going management and preservation of these files? See Digital Preservation and Management sections for more information.

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