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Collaborative Digitization Programs
The Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook (www.ohiomemory.org) illustrates these benefits well. A simple search for “temperance” retrieves digital surrogates of a variety of sources (photographs, temperance society records, letters, pamphlets) from over 30 institutions, including county historical societies and small public libraries. The cost savings and potential educational value of these programs have not gone unnoticed. Counting programs still in planning, groups from at least 40 states are involved in statewide or regional digitization programs (Collaborative digitization projects in the USA www.mtsu.edu/ , kmiddlet/stateportals.html).
Eight articles in this issue illustrate diverse approaches to addressing the technical,
social, and financial challenges facing collaborative digitization programs. States and
regions represented include Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, the
Mountain West (Utah, Nevada), Alabama, and the Columbia River Basin (Idaho,
Oregon, Washington State). Although these programs vary in terms of organizational
structure, the number and types of participating institutions, and software/hardware
options, they share a vision of creating a dynamic and sustainable digitization
program. The realization of this vision requires that programs implement sound
business planning practices, build strong collaborative networks, empower content
providers (i.e. participating institutions), and engage end-users.
Previously published in: The Electronic Library, Volume: 23, Number 2, 2005
159 pages; ISBN 9781845443344
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