Our day at the Lakefront

Six of us in Special Collections attended a SOLINET-sponsored class on Feb. 5 at the University of New Orleans Library. The topic was Digital Imaging of Library and Archival Materials, and it included individual hands-on work in Photoshop and OmniPage Pro, as well as wide-ranging discussions about planning for digital preservation and access projects. While the workshop was technical in nature, the fundamental theme of the day was the necessity of providing strong, well-informed, collegial decision making prior to undertaking new digitization projects for special library materials. Putting procedures into place requires an analysis of the best options for software, file quality and size, storage medium, backup location for disaster planning, file naming conventions, and realistic budgeting for the equipment and ongoing staffing needs for the proposed projects. Some aspects of this developing field do not have firm industry and professional standards, but rather a choice between what are considered best practices of successful efforts at other institutions. There may be trade-offs and compromises between what is ideal and what is actually do-able, but careful planning needs to be done, in order to expect a successful outcome for a specific project.

Thanks very much to our colleagues at UNO, especially Lora Amsberryaugier, who made the local arrangements and hosted the class, as well as Kara McClerken, the extremely energetic and knowledgeable instructor.
Posted by Susanna Powers

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