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 Reformatting and digitization preserve access to damaged or deteriorating materials. Once digitized, an item becomes part of a digital collection that has familiar stewardship needs: long-term policy planning, proper storage, careful handling, and disaster planning.


If reformatting is the migration of content from one form to another (sound from audiotape to a computer audio file; book from pages to microfilm; a Word document to a PDF), digitization is just one type of reformatting.

Preservation reformatting of paper collections encompasses microfilming, photocopying, duplicating, and/or digitization. When conducted using sound methods and current standards, materials digitized today should not need to be digitized again, and, with few exceptions, the process of digitization should not require disruptive measures such as disbinding or other permanent alteration of collection materials.

And then there's the digital content that arrives at archival and library institutions in a variety of digital formats: DVDs, hard drives, emails, and so on. How does your organization preserve and provide access to these born digital materials?

Digital preservation assures the continued access and authenticity of digital collections over time. Reformatting, digitization, and digital preservation are costly enterprises, and smaller institutions may outsource all three activities to a contract vendor with experience in handling historical collections. Yet how do you prioritize collections for these activities? And how do you work with a vendor on these complex projects? All of these issues will be explored in Session 7.

This session will help you:

  • identify standards, guidelines, and best practices for preservation microfilming, preservation photocopying, and digitization
  • examine born-digital collections and digital preservation practices, standards, guidelines, systems, and tools;
  • consider strategies for selecting collections and managing reformatting and treatment projects;
  • learn how to navigate copyright issues in preservation reformatting and when preservation can make a compelling case for fair use; and
  • identify additional resources to help you learn more about reformatting, digitization, and managing digital collections.




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