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Announcing the DPTP Digitisation Course

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We’re pleased to announce the DPTP Course on Digitisation, which will take place in London on 27th September 2016. It is a one day course, taught through a combination of slides, exercises and discussions, and costs £312.30.

The course will cover the basics of digitisation, from the initial planning through project management to protecting and preserving the resulting digital assets for the long term. It explores preparation, project management, equipment/outsourcing, workflows and policies. It will also look at metadata, copyright and licensing, and managing access to the digitised content.

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I first taught this Course in Salford in June 2013. It was at the Working Class Movement Library and organised by Elinor Taylor, who wanted a block of learning as part of her two day digital humanities training event for humanities postgraduate researchers. We were keen to help with this project, for several reasons:

  • Postgraduate researchers represent a strand of learners different to the archivists and librarians who usually attend the DPTP
  • Digital Humanities was then, and still is, a growth area that we need to engage with
  • It was an opportunity to create learning materials on a subject which previously had been taught as a single 90-minute module on the DPTP. As we discovered with web-archiving, the subject is too rich for a single module, and requires a day to be understood properly.

Elinor had some very specific expectations from this offering, which we tried our best to meet as we like to keep our customers happy. She had the intention that “those who attend will acquire skills to design their own project and start work”. Her learners wanted to know about:

  • How to get from print resources to digitized resources
  • What are the basic principles of designing a digitisation project
  • Discussion of compliance and copyright issues
  • Integration with existing catalogues
  • Integration with existing digitization strategies
  • Criteria for selection of file formats

In this Library’s case, the students did have digitisation projects planned, but I learned they would be outsourcing the actual scanning to a professional company. This affirms my view, that I still subscribe to, that scanning is only a small part of digitisation.

In offering this Course as part of the 2016 DPTP programme, Steph Taylor and myself have updated the content and included more information to address certain key specialisms and concerns in this field. For instance, we have incorporated what we learned in the last 12 months about DAM systems, metadata, and image libraries, through our liaison with Sarah Saunders of the IPTC Metadata Group. We have also upgraded our workflow model to include strands on OCR, manuscript digitization, and crowd-sourcing. Watch this space for a forthcoming podcast where we discuss these improvements and additions.

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In the podcast below, hear Steph Taylor and Ed Pinsent discuss the new Digitisation Course.

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