Ersatz digitisation

August 27th, 2010 § 3

Digitisation projects undertaken by libraries, archives and museums aim at the precise and authentic representation of source material. Unfortunately the expense of these exacting standards has greatly limited the amount of digitisation achieved. Much more ‘digitisation’ has been undertaken by researchers and visitors themselves using digital cameras to make reference copies of material for personal use.

If shared, to what extent could these ersatz versions stand-in for the real thing? What are the collaborative, copyright and trust issues that might stand in the way?

If desirable, what kind of platform could enable this kind of sharing? E.g. A voluntary organisation, along the lines of the US “International Amateur Scanning League” or a website, like the prototype, that “liberates” content from the websites of libraries, archives and museums to make it more accessible as semantic data.

§ 3 Responses to “Ersatz digitisation”

  • wragge says:

    It also raises the thorny question of the citability of items in collection dbs. How can people publishing their own digitised copies of resources easily create links back to their original context?

  • Lise says:

    It’s late, and I’ve been on a plane for several hours, but this looks a bit like something that I touched on in the Crowdsourcing the catalogue proposal. Allowing researchers to load up information about records and data sets, including images. This (I think) gets round the citability problem identified by Tim, and also means that the images don’t need to be complete. It’s what someone has found that is meaningful to them, and which may be meaningful to others, or which can act as a sample of the contents of a record.

  • S_Russell says:

    This is the way I produce primary research material in a form that doesn’t require me to be in Canberra. It is covered by a large bundle of access agreements that cover my rights to use it.

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