In the present day digital environment, it is a smart option for organizations to think about digitization of their historic collections. Why should libraries consider moving to new and advanced digital systems? The major reasons for libraries to go for electronic data storage include the ability to address the challenges of physical storage and processing capacities (at lower cost), and digital preservation of valuable documents to make them available for present and future generations.
Advantages of Digital Conversion
Let us look at the advantages of document conversion to a digital format. For instance, consider a church that has a large volume of historic records dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The records kept in a church include Sunday school rolls, membership rosters and business meeting minutes. Researchers as well as others interested in viewing these documents definitely benefit when the data is made available in electronic form.
- The public can view and access materials that they are interested in.
- Unique pieces of information (records that span from the late 1800s to the 1990s) can be preserved for future generations.
- Can reduce the handling and use of fragile material such as handwritten ledgers (dated back to 1800s)
- Save considerable physical storage space
- Round-the-clock availability of the required documents
- More than one person can access the material at the same time
Just as churches, libraries can also enjoy considerable benefits through digitizing their collection of books and documents. In this age, when we need to think about environment protection, e-books are a great option – they help save our trees and also avoid paper clutter.
Showing the Way: University of North Texas, Carrollton Public Library and Princeton Legacy Library
It is reported that the University of North Texas (UNT) staff, in association with the Carrollton Public Library, has finalized the digitization and uploading of local history materials. Last year, the library received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize the records of Union Baptist Church, which is the first Baptist congregation in Dallas County. The grant amounts to $1,279, and is given to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.
Digitized files from the project are now accessible through the Portal to Texas History, a website maintained by UNT.
According to another report, Princeton University Press (PUP) will convert around 3,000 of the backlist titles of Princeton Legacy Library (PLL) to e-books and print-on-demand editions. This attempt will make the content available digitally through Ingram Content Group for libraries and scholarly institutions through leading library aggregators. Likewise, there are many instances of digitization of historic documents and archival materials in the present scenario. Documents, manuscripts, and related materials available can be digitally converted to any format and preserved well.