Friday, March 27, 2009

National Archives Preservation Confference 2009

The title and focus of this year's Preservation Conference was "Digitizing for Preservation and Access". Unlike the larger conferences sponsored by professional organizations, attendees follow one program throughout the day. This year's program included a keynote address on Digitization, Preservation, and the Idea of the Archive by Dr. Paul Conway, Associate Professor at the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

Since my current focus is on digitizing the general collections of the Eisenhower Library, I listened for information which was applicable to both archival and library collections.
  • The National Archives holds over 9 billion pages of documents. 5 million are on line. It is impossible to every digitize it all. On-line descriptions allow exposure to the existence of each series in their holdings. Digitization is use driven and may be done using partnerships with private industry.
  • The Federal Agency Digitization Initiative - Still Image Working Group has developed the Digital Image Conformance Evaluation (DICE) System. They have developed a device target which determines the performance parameters of digitization equipment and an object target which allows the determination of the quality of a digitized image. Their project website is:
  • The National Archives conservation staff reviews all series/collections to determine suitability for digitization and to assess what stabilization needs to proceed digitization; what special handling may be required; what type(s) of equipment would/would not be suitable for the series/collection given its physical characteristics and whether it is a candidate for scanning by a commercial partner or must be digitized in-house.

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