Advanced hardware and software technologies allow large volume document conversion that is required in a wide variety of academic and non-academic organizations, museums, as well as religious and professional organizations among others. Typically, digitization projects focus on scanning bound texts and other documents such as scrolls, manuscripts, damaged film, rock art and so on. Once digitized, valuable documents are preserved for future use; moreover, people get to enjoy easy access to the material they need.
A case in point is the digitization venture of the Cordillera/Northern Historical Archives, the repository of the University of Philippines. Established in the year 2007, the Archives accommodates the collection of prominent personalities who made lasting contributions to the Philippines in general and Cordillera in particular. The project involves electronic conversion of important documents to preserve and prolong their life. Digitization prevents documents from deteriorating and makes them readily available for further reference.
Conversion processes such as this require state-of-the-art scanners capable of efficiently scanning books and documents. Such scanners typically have features such as:
- Capability of scanning larger documents up to A3 size
- Designed to protect fragile documents
- Can scan books and other documents using flatbed without damaging them
The files would be converted into formats that would later be made accessible through web browsers. Numerous black and white photos documenting the culture and heritage of Cordillera and its people will also be digitized in the process.
The Archives digitization has the following objectives, which are the common goals of most large scale document conversion initiatives.
- Preserving the documents for the future generation
- Making them accessible for researchers
- Preventing loss of data and other information of original documents, photographs and other field notes
- Preparing data to ensure access through Internet
- Ensure effective and efficient delivery of services to the community
Preserving the collections of Archives such as the above is a major concern. Digitizing will greatly improve the accessibility to the original material; these documents will be now saved in computer format. A data entry company can handle huge projects such as this with ease and efficiency mainly because it would have advanced technology and technically skilled personnel to provide the required services. Outsourcing the data conversion process to a reliable company would prove cost-effective to the organization since the expenses involved in purchasing sophisticated scanners and recruiting technicians to operate the same can be avoided. In addition, outsourcing would also help save valuable time. A dedicated BPO firm would ensure that the deadlines set for project completion are met efficiently.