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Digitisation Projects: Planning

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.

Key Questions

Project description
- What is its name?
- Is the collection physical or digital? 
- What types of items are included in the project e.g. photos, recordings, text? In what formats?
- Approx. how many of each item are there?
- Is it a growing or static collection?
- Is the collection physical or digital?
- Are there any related collections / publications / websites? 
- Are there any related events and anniversaries?

- Do you have copyright clearance or permission to reproduce the collection / items within the collection?
- Are there any provacy concerns associated with access to the collection?

See for more information.

- Do materials need to be scanned / digitised?
- Who will do this?
- On what equipment?

See for more information.

Metadata and information about the project
- Does the collection have any descriptive information / metadata? E.g. index; finding aid; catalogue record; box listing

See for more information.

User community and intended audience
- Who do you see as the main audiences for your collection?
- For what purposes will they use your collection?
- What will draw them to use it online?
- What will the impact of this collection be e.g. how will access to it help your users? What will it enable them to do?

- How and where will your collection be hosted?
- Is there a requirement for an (associated) online exhibition?
- What will happen to the collection after the end of the project?

See​ for more information.

Working with others
- If you have project partners is it clear who is responsible for what?
- Are there letters of support or a memorandum of understanding?

See next box: Working With Others for more information.

Project Planning Materials

See Shawn Day's materials, case studies and presentation at:

Working With Others

When you are collaborating or working with external partners it is useful to draw up a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU or MoU) in order to articulate and be explicit about respective roles and responsibilities. 

While a MOU is a formal agreement between two or more parties, it is not legally binding. However it does carry a degree of seriousness and mutual respect, and helps to reduce misunderstandings based around assumptions.

UCD Library can assist in the drawing up of MOUs. A sample MOU used between the UCD Digital Library and an external organisation / Archive is available below:

Useful Resources

JISC Digital Media
The UK's JISC Digital Media offers a wealth of resources including tutorials, guidelines themed by media type, and documentation covering all aspects of the "digital lifecycle" organised around project management, digitisation, technical guidelines, digital asset management, and use and curation.

For example see:

Digital Preservation Coalition
The Digital Preservation Coalition also provides information, advice and tools to support digital preservation projects. UCD is an Associate Member of the DPC and therefore has access to its resources and expertise.

The Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has recently published a self-guided curriculum for digitisation.