Skip to Main Content

Digitisation Projects: Digital Imaging / Digitisation

This guide outlines the various options available to those undertaking digitisation projects, considering the entire workflow from planning, hosting, copyright, digital imaging, metadata, software, web publishing tools etc.

How Will Your Materials Be Digitised?

  • Who will scan the physical materials?  For example, do you intend to send the materials to a commercial company? Do you have in-house staff available? Do you require UCD Digital Library to do this for you?


  • Where will the scanning take place and with what equipment? Consider how to manage the physical moving of materials to wherever equipment is located.


  • What are the technical issues you will need to consider? For example:
  • Resolution / pixels per inch / PPI
  • Bit-depth
  • Colour management
  • File formats
  • Compression techniques
  • Filenaming

Scanning Guidelines

Scanning Guidelines

This is a shortened  version of the UCD Digital Library Digitisation Policy (available on request). It has been compiled by Audrey Drohan, UCD Library (UCD Digital Library).

Completeness: What to Scan    

  • Margins: Approx. 1 cm border around the page/image edge to convey to users that no details are missing from the digital representation.
  • Entirety: An item or collection must be scanned in its entirety to maintain its integrity, including covers.
  • Scanning Order: Scan in reading order, where possible. Follow the pagination; or in unpaginated pages, the logical sequence.
  • Paging: Scan each page individually - one page, one scan.

Image Specification    

  • Capture Resolution: For preservation purposes: Textual: minimum 300 PPI. Images: 600 PPI.
  • Colour (bit) depth: 8 bit per colour channel (24 bit for RGB).
  • Colour Space/Mode: RGB - screen colours.
  • Colour Profile: Without ICC embedded (to be revised).
  • Sizing:    Scan at 100%.
  • Image file format: TIFF (Tagged Image File Format).
  • Orientation: Based on the readability of the general document.

Image Capture Enhancements    

  • Skewing: During scanning or as part processing.
  • Cropping: During scanning or as part processing – maintain 1 cm edge around the page/photograph.
  • Sharpening: At the point of scanning, as part of calibration. Do not do as part of processing.
  • Tone/Colour Correction: No colour correction is done.
  • Descreening: Modify capture resolution to offset.

File Naming    

  • Unique filenames are required.
  • Name files in ascending order, with complete file names.
  • Filenames should not contain special characters, or blank spaces.
  • File extensions should be consistent and valid (example:   .tif).

Image Processing

Useful Resources

The UCD Digital Library includes documentation that may assist you with your digitisation technical requirements and other associated areas such as image processing, formats and quality control. 

UCD Library's Research Data Management guide includes information on:

File Names

File Structures

File Formats, etc.

JISC has a large number of guides, for example: