| Table of Contents | Introduction | The New York Public Library's Digital Historical Projects | Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections | Conclusion |


Digital projects provide new and exciting opportunities for libraries to make their historical collections more accessible to researchers and to engage the public and students more directly and more compellingly with the documentary heritage of their communities and state. New electronic information system technology is an exceptional tool for improving collection management and public access in libraries, but it will perhaps prove even more significant if it can enliven long-dormant materials and the valuable history they represent. What better way to bring the past into the present?

Having been at the forefront of computer-based information management, libraries are well equipped to implement this expanding graphic capability of digital technology, and it promises to facilitate the entire spectrum of their tasks, administrative, cataloging, preservation, and public service. Ideally, every library, large or small, should develop a plan for digital projects and get started by establishing a line for digital projects in its annual budget, no matter how modest. Increasing technical and funding support is becoming available for digital projects. You should begin by getting familiar with the services of the following:

Also, please refer to the sources listed below.

A Brief Checklist of Information on Digitizing
Berkeley Digital Library Sunsite. Imaging Information. http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Imaging/ . Includes links to Articles & Papers, Companies, Example Projects, Reference, Resources, and Tools.

Columbia University Libraries. Selection Criteria for Digital Imaging Projects. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/digital/criteria.htm. Outlines the collection development, use, and value issues Columbia uses in assessing and developing digital projects.

Fleischhauer, Carl. Digital Historical Collections: Types, Elements, and Construction. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/elements.html

Hazen, Dan, Jeffrey Horrell, Jan Merrill-Oldham. Selecting Research Collections for Digitization. Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources, 1998. Discussion of the intellectual and managerial considerations in selecting research material for digitizing.

Library of Congress. Encoded Archival Description Official Web Site. http://lcweb.loc.gov/ead/. Links to general information, news, tools, and documentation regarding the EAD.

Library of Congress. Related Technical Information: National Digital Library Competition. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/award/tech97.html. Includes references and links to numerous documents relating to the development and production of digital library projects.

Library of Congress. National Digital Library Program. Project Planning Checklist. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/prjplan.html

OCLC. Dublin Core Metadata. http://purl.oclc.org/metadata/dublin_core/. The home site for the most developed general metadata set.

Research Libraries Group. RLG Recommended Application Guidelines for EAD. http://www.rlg.org/rlgead/tool2.html. A well-organized "Supplement to the EAD (version 1) Tag Library and EAD Guidelines [Soon to be available] Prepared by the RLG EAD Advisory Group."

Research Libraries Group. Selecting Library and Archive Collections for Digital Reformatting: Proceedings from an RLG Symposium held November 5-6, 1995 in Washington DC. 1996. A comprehensive discussion of the needs and implications of selecting collections for digitizing.

University of Virginia, Electronic Text Center. Standards. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/standard.html. An intelligent and well-written introduction to Archival Imaging and the alphabet soup of electronic text: XML, SGML, HTML, EAD, and TEI.

| Table of Contents | Introduction | The New York Public Library's Digital Historical Projects |
| Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections | Conclusion |
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S. Ruddy 08/12/99