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class 10 lesson plan

Creating Sustainable Digital Collections,
Part 1: Digital Issues


This lesson plan explores digitization and its impact on preservation and introduces the core issues involved in creating, maintaining, and preserving objects in digital environments. Students will consider the definitions of digital objects as well as address and analyze the various elements that must be considered in both digitization and digital preservation.

Given the time constraints of the class, the emphasis should be on making students aware of these topics and pointing them toward resources and sites for further study. It is recommended that instructors select only one or two class exercises that support the topics they wish to emphasize. Also remember that some of these topics will be addressed in more detail in Class 11: Creating Sustainable Digital Collections, Part 2: Digital Preservation.

Digital preservation is a constantly evolving field, and it is essential for instructors to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information. Some of the resources and topics listed in this lesson may be superseded by more current materials in a relatively short period.

The lesson is divided into five parts:

Part I: Defining Digital Objects. Students will be introduced to the differences between digitized and born-digital objects, and they will discuss the relationship between the digital objects and the original artifacts.

Part II: Criteria for Selection of Digitized Objects. This section explores criteria for selecting collections for digitization and defining digital projects.

Part III: Copyright. Students will examine intellectual property rights as they affect digitization, including how basic copyright issues such as authors’ rights and fair use translate into the digital environment.

Part IV: Metadata — Standards and Best Practices. Students will briefly discuss emerging metadata types for describing and preserving digital objects, as well as best practices, not only in applying metadata elements, but in all areas of the management and preservation of digital objects.

Part V: Sustainable Resources. As a summary and an introduction to the next class, the instructor will discuss the need for digital preservation and the problems inherent in sustainability.