Sunday, November 22, 2009

Protect your digital files - looking after computer equipment

Strategies need to be in place in societies to protect their computer equipment. Some points to consider:

Implement a policy ensuring that all computer equipment is turned off when not in use, particularly at the end of the day.

Ensure that there are procedures for turning off equipment correctly.

After shutting down equipment, turn off the power point.

It is adisable to unplug computers and other electrical equipment when not in use.

Cover computers and scanners to protect them from dust.

Never have liquids near computers.

Ensure that computer and other cords are kept out of the way of people
* OH&S - people can trip over cords
* a dislodged cord can result in computer or other equipment turning off

Keep up to date with all government regulations

Ensure that equipment is safe
* Check that power cords are not frayed
* Check that power cords are not tangled
* Check that not too many appliances are plugged into a powerboard (might overload system)
* Do not 'piggy-back' double adaptors
* Check that indicators for maximum loads for power boards are visible
* Electrical appliances should be checked for safety each year
* There are firms that test and tag electrical equipment
* Local Councils may be able to provide advice on checking electrical appliances

Power surge devices are available to protect equipment and the power supply

Some power boards include surge protection

Universal power supply devices are available if computers need to be left on for periods of time. The time that they operate during a power cut is limited but for short disruptions to supply they can be useful.

As with telephones, turn off computers during electical storms

Ensure that the building is safe
* Security sytem installed
* Security sytem turned on when building is unoccupied
* Have an arrangement with neighbours to keep an eye on the property and provide them with names of members to contact if anything suspicious occurs
* Ensure that correct and up to date fire extinguishers are available for use
* Ensure that members know how to use equipment
* Contact local fire department for an assessment and information about fire prevention procedures
* A local fire brigade member may be prepared to speak to society members about fire prevention and safety
* Ensure gutters and roofs are kept clear of leaves and other debris to avoid water intrusion and/or threat of fire from embers if in a bushfire prone area

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Protect your digital files - back up your computer (2)

To back up computer files, the files on the computer need to be selected and then copied or sent or dragged to a back-up device.

It is therefore necessary to organise your computer so that the files are in logical folders. You can then easily choose the items that require backing up.

If regularly backing up all the files on the computer it may be easier if all folders are kept in an over-riding folder labelled Data. The Data file would then be copied to the back-up device and stored in a folder noting the date the back-up occurred - for instance Jan 2009, Feb 2009.

Your back up plan may be to back up all files once a year and to have regular back-ups of files that are altered or added to such as databases, scanned images etc. If the database files are kept in a folder labelled Databases and the images are in folders stored in a folder labelled Scanned Images it is easy to select just these folders.

Programs such as some databases (DB/TextWorks), some audio files (Audacity files) etc may consist of a number of files making up the whole. Make sure that you are aware of the components so that if you are copying these files you copy all of the required parts.

Nine files ending in .acf, .btx, .dbo, .dbr, .dbs, .ixl, .occ, .sdo and .tba are needed to form a DB/TextWorks database - for example museum.acf, museum.btx etc. You would need to select all of these files to back up the database.

Backed up files can be stored on another computer but, in some cases, they may only work on that computer if the program that created the files is also installed on the computer.

Programs, such as databases, may also have options to export all or some of the database records or to dump the contents of the database into a file. If there is limited storage on the back-up device this can be a quick way of backing up records. It would also be advisable to have a back-up of the data structure, forms, search screens and record skeletons so that, if necessary, a database can be reconstructed.

Back-ups should be kept on more than one device with at least one device kept off site.

Keep several copies of back-ups before deleting or over riding earlier copies. Number the back-ups by date or numerically - 1, 2, 3, 4 - etc. but make sure it is clear which is the latest version, After a time earlier folders can be replaced by a current one.

At the History Victoria Support Group Seminar Day on Saturday 21 November options were discussed for storing data or computer back-ups off site.
  • Another organisation, such as a local library or neighbouring society, using the same database program may be prepared to keep a copy of your societies, database files on their computer with their database files.
  • Another organisation may be prepared to store your off site back-up copies. It was suggested that, if the contents of the computer were backed up once a year onto a device such as a pocket drive, the device could be stored at the premises of another organisation for twelve months and replaced each year with the latest back-up. Formal agreement with signed forms outlining the conditions would need to be made. Eastern Regional Libraries is prepared to trial such a project. Other libraries may also agree to such an arrangement. Back-ups, especially of regularly used files, new image scans etc, would still need to be made and kept safely between each annual back-up.
  • Word documents can be stored on Google docs or other online word processor. Google docs is also an option to consider if a number of people are working on a project. Versions of documents can be put online and viewed and edited only by those granted permission to access the documents.
  • Files, provided that they are not too large, can be stored as attachments to emails using online email accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail etc. If an email account was set up specifically for this purpose exported database files can regularly be uploaded. Be aware of the size restrictions for attachments. If a file is too large work out how to export the file in sections. Remember that online email accounts may require someone accessing the account regularly to keep the account alive.
  • Include part of your database records in an database. Victorian Local History Database is a database of information items in collections of RHSV affiliated societies not involved in other regional database projects.
  • Include low resolution images in an image sharing project such as Picture Victoria / Picture Australia.
  • Flickr is another option for the online sharing / storage of images.
  • LibraryThing provides an option for cataloguing book collections.

Protect your digital files - back up your computer (1)

A frequently asked question when visiting societies is how to back up computer files.

Much time is spent on computer projects - scanning images, creating databases, preparing publications and displays plus general office files relating to the operation of the society. Backing up these files regularly is important. Computers do not last forever and and there are many ways that data can be lost.

Back up copies should be kept of programs, database files, scanned images, audio and video files, word documents, spreadsheets, electronic copies of newsletters and other publications etc.

Societies should prepare a back up plan at the time they purchase a computer.

Technically backing up is easy to do. The number of devices available to do this has increased and prices are decreasing.

External hard drives hold huge amounts of data and are inexpensive to purchase. A recent check of the Officeworks website showed 1 TB external hard drives available for $149. Other sizes available were 750 GB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB. These devices connect to the computer via a USB port.

Pocket hard drives were also available - 320 GB, 400 GB, 500 GB - at prices between $99 and $129.

USB drives come in a variety of sizes - 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB. The smaller storage sizes vary in price from $10 to $25.

Most computers now have the ability to burn cd-roms and/or dvds which can be another convenient way of storing back-ups on a read only disk or on a rewritable disk.

Other devices that might be used in societies are zip drives, back-up tapes and in some cases, on older computers, floppy disks.

A word of caution: purchase the type of device that will fulfill your back up requirements. Just because a device holds huge quantities of data does not mean that it is the best purchase option. The stability and reliability of some of the larger devices has been questioned.

All of these devices, like computers, can fail. It is therefore essential to
  • use more than one device for backing up
  • keep at least one back-up copy off site

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New operating systems and Windows XP

Most of us have been successfully running programs on Windows XP as the operating systems for many years. Many of us plan to continue to do so. However some people need to or want to upgrade their computers and operating systems.

Three years ago Vista arrived and those who purchased new computers or upgraded discovered that many of their programs no longer worked. In some cases when new versions of programs were installed on Vista the basic program worked but some features disappeared. The Help in DB/TextWorks is one example as Microsoft has decided to no longer support the code on which this feature is based.

If problems occur using Vista to run older programs it may be possible to do so by utilising the XP Compatibility feature in Vista after downloading Microsoft Virtual PC.

The following articles outline the procedure.
Running Windows XP inside of Windows Vista - http://www.pcmech.com/article/running-windows-xp-inside-of-windows-vista/

Running Programs with XP Compatability in Vista - http://www.pcmech.com/article/running-programs-with-xp-compatibility-in-vista/

Windows XP Compatibility Mode in Windows Vista - http://help.unc.edu/6037

Now Windows 7 is available.

Some versions of Windows 7 also include XP compatibility.

A search in Google for 'windows 7 xp compatibility' provides many posts including the following:
Revealing XP Mode for Windows 7 - http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2009/04/24/secret-no-more-revealing-virtual-windows-xp-for-windows-7.aspx

10 reasons why Microsoft's XP Mode is a Big Deal - http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=926

An important point to note is that additional memory is required to sussessfully run XP Mode within Windows 7 - at least 2 GB RAM (one reviewer recommended 4 GB).

Additional advice from the PC Rescue website:
Four Reasons to Wait Before Upgrading to Windows 7 - http://www.pcrescue.com.au/four_reasons_to_wait_before_upgrading_to_windows_7.htm

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Zoomify

Walter Woodbury's Photographic Panorama of Melbourne uses software called Zoomify allowing users to examine more closely part of a map of Melbourne produced by James Kearney in 1855.

David Thompson has provided the following notes about Zoomify.

Zoomify is a free piece of software that allows you to display an image in a browser webpage and then to zoom in on that image and pan and scroll across it.

Zoomify works by dissecting the original image into a number of smaller image files each of a different size and resolution. Then, depending on user manipulation of the zoom, pan and scroll controls on the Zoomify display, these files are put together in different ways as a movie which shows enlarged parts of the image (zoom) or differnt parts of the image (pan and scroll). The movie is viewed using the Flash player available on most computers or available free for download from the Adobe website.

Zoomify Express is the free downloadable version of the Zoomify software and is available on the Zoomify website - http://www.zoomify.com. The home page shows an excellent example of Zoomify operating on an aerial view of Paris. Click on the Zoomify Express link to locate a page giving more details f what the software does and also providing the download link.

The download file is a compressed (.zip) file which when expanded gives you the Zoomify Viewer, the Zoomify Converter, a Template Web Page, a Quick Start instruction document and a folder containig a set of images used to provide an example of how Zoomify works.

To use Zomify you simply drag your image file on to the Zoomify Converter icon. This results in the generation of a folder containig the set of dissected image files based on your original file. You then edit the html code in the Template Web Page to replace the example filename with your image filename. Open the edited Template Web Page file in your browser and your image will appear in the Zoomify Viewer frame ready to be zoomed, panned or scrolled. The html code in the template file can of course be copied into your own webpage html wherever you want to display the Zoomify image.

For further information click on the Support heading on the Zoomify webpage and scroll down to Products to locate links to additional information on Zoomify Express. Scroll down further to TechNotes to find detailed step by step instructions on how to use Zoomify Express. There is also guidance on the requirements for the size and resolution of the image file you want to use with Zoomify, as reasonably large images are needed to give worthwhile zoom effect.

Examples of Zoomify in action are available on the Powerhouse Museum database webpage when you search for objects for which images are available and also on the Museum Victoria Caught and Coloured online exhibition when you follow the links to images of individual objects.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Twitter

Increasingly we hear references to Twitter, another Web 2.0 tool. Twitter allows members of groups (families, friends, organisations) to keep up to date. Messages sent on Twitter are limited to no more than 140 characters so are therefore short. It is not expected that people will respond to messages received.

The Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society is using Twitter to remind members about upcoming meetings and other events. View the link - http://twitter.com/pmhps - to see how it works.

For more information on Twitter go to the Twitter website - http://twitter.com

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Online exhibitions - a great way to promote your collection

A summary of a paper presented at a Museums Australia (Vic) seminar on Online exhibitions - writing for the web on Monday 6 April, 2009 at the City Museum at Old Treasury, Spring Street, Melbourne.

A large number of historical societies in Victoria now have websites. Websites provide the opportunity for historical organisations to promote their organisations and collections. However, many of the websites are static with the content rarly changing though some groups have embraced the web to produce interesting and informative sites. An online exhibition can be an extension to the basic website. The online exhibition can promote a section of the collection, be an extension of a physical exhibition or tell the story of an event, family or organisation.

In 2007 and 2008 four online exhbitions were added to the RHSV website - http://www.historyvictoria.org.au/.

Walter Woodbury's Photographic Panorama of Melbourne
An online exhibition showcasing four photographs from the collection. The exhibition uses other resources from the RHSV collection to help show a view of Melbourne in 1855.

Travellers Tales: Photography , Travel and the Proliferation of the Postcard
In 2002 an exhibition showcasing the range of postcards held in the RHSV collection, particularly those produced in the second part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, was developed as part of the exhibition program. When a database of scanned images of postcards was put online, an online version of some of the content of the 2002 exhibition was prepared to provide information about the importance and range of postcards. Slideshows were included to provide examples of categories of postcards.

MacRobertson's Round Australia Expedition 1928
An online exhibition utilising part of a collection to tell a story about an event that occured 80 years ago. This exhibition was prepared as part of a digitisation grant. Procedures used were dwscribed in entries in a blog.

The WCTU & the Woman's Petition
2008 celebrated the centenary of women winning the right to vote in Victorian government elections. In October 2005, as part of the celebrations of 150 years of parliament in Victoria, an online index to the Woman's Petition was launched. Who were the women who collected these signatures? How did they collect so many signatures in such a short time? What motivated the women to undertake this task? Why did women sign the petition? The online exhibition attempts to provide a resource to help answer some of these questions.

These four online exhibitions were created using basic html, and standard, readily available (and often free) programs. This session looks at how community groups, including historical societies, can create effective online exhibitions.

Online exhibitions tell a story. As with the development of a physical exhibition there are a number of tasks to be undertaken including planning, checking available resources, research, story board (including deciding what to include and waht to leave out), designing the pages, putting it all together, and checking the end product.

Walter Woodbury's Photographic Panorama of Melbourne is a small online exhibition showcasing four images portraying an interesting portrayal of Melbourne in 1855. Walter Woodbury made a series of "wet plate" photographs taken from the top of the new Gasworks chimney in the area now known as Docklands. Copies of the images were included in an exhibition held at the RHSV in 2006 in conjunction with a conference on life in Melbourne in 1856, and again in 2007. Extensive research had been undertaken about the images for the physical exhibition but additional information was required to make the online exhibition more than just four images of Melbourne taken in 1855.

Buildings in each image were identified and marked on the exhibition images. Research was undertaken to establish from where the original photographs were taken and permission was obtained to enter a room in a high rise building in the Docklands area to take a photograph replicating the view today.

The RHSV also holds a map of Melbourne prepared by James Kearney in 1855. A section was digitised and the free program, Zoomify, used to allow a magnified image of part of the digitised map. An article from the Argus was located describing the opening of the chimney. Biographical information was researched about Walter Woodbury and James Kearney. Research was also undertaken about each of the buildings identified in the photographs.

Consequently extensive planning, checking of available resources and research was undertaken before decisions were made as to how to present the material online. All this information was then assembed to create an online exhibition which used resources from the RHSV collection to provide a snapshot of the development of Melbourne in 1855.

The order in which the material was to be presented, the design of the web pages, putting it all together as one entity and then checking that it worked the way it had been planned was undertaken before it was put online in the Treasures of the RHSV section of the RHSV website.

Other considerations when writing for the web - especially for local history websites - include
  • Know your audience
  • Be aware of the range of computers used by potential viewers - not necessarily latest models
  • People living in country Victoria may have limited internet access
  • Not everyone has broadband
  • Browsers behave differently - need to check the pages in major browsers
  • People adjust computer settings
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Provide layers of information - provide the opportunity for users to select the information they want to view
  • Keep focussed on why the online exhibition is being developed - it is easy to become side tracked. Keep in mind the aims of the exhibition
  • Provide user friendly navigation about the site
  • Do not asume that everyone knows how links and other web devices work
  • Although it may be possible to include fancy bells & whistles on the site, only use them if appropriate
  • Use meta data tags to help browsers locate your site

MacRobertson's Round Australia Expedition 1928 is an online exhibition that took two years to develop. It was created to celebrate the 80th anniversary of a five month trip around Australia by two Karrier trucks, an Oldsmobile and twelve men which left Melbourne in April 1928. The online exhibition provided an opportunity to promote a special collection held at the RHSV as well as to tell an interesting and special story.

General information about the exhibition was provided in the blog - ckeck the online exhibitions tag.

The design of the online exhibition was kept relatively simple using tables. The background colour is the same for all pages but the colour of the border is changed for each section of the trip. Templates were created and used with minor alterations as required. A cascading style sheet was used to control the uniformity of print style and size etc throughout the site. A small version of the MacRobertson map, located in the top left hand corner of each page, served as a link to the home page.

On the home page there are two options for navigating The Expedition pages

  • a map of the expedition including links to the beginning of each stage (image map)
  • hypertext links to each stage beneath the map

Other links

  • navigation links at the bottom of each page to move within the stage
  • navigation links at the top of the page to move around the site

Checking the content is an ongoing process, especially checking that the hyperlinks link to the correct pages. The pages need to be read and reread to eliminate typing and other errors. It is useful to get someone else to check the pages. Mispelling the word expedition in the main heading on the template and then replicating it was an inital embarrassing error. At least it is easier to make minor alterations in an online exhibition as opposed to a traditional exhibition.

As this was the story of an expedition, the online exhibition was released in stages following the time frame of the trip. The first stage went online on the 12th April 2008, the anniversary of the day that the expedition left Melbourne 80 years earlier. Other stages went online at intervals.

Historical societies have many stories to tell from their collections and online exhibitions are a way that these stories can be made available to the public.

As we have seen online exhibitions
  • may highlight a small part of a collection
  • may provide additional information about a collection
  • may tell a story based on items in a specific collection
  • may celebrate an anniversary
  • may be held in conjunction with a physical exhibition

Online exhibitions are relativly easy to create and can enhance a website. They do not have to be elaborate. They are an effective way of promoting part of a collection or telling a story relevant to the history of the local area. Creating online exhibitions can be a challenging and satisfying experience. Have fun!

Friday, March 13, 2009

CAN outreach blog

The Collections Australia Network (CAN) has released a new blog - CAN outreach blog which aims to provide information and events of interest to those working in the digital and online communities.

Initial posts include archiving digital collections, grants and funding directories for museums and galleries, how to post and subscribe to an email discussion list, disaster preparedness for collections, blogs and subscribing to RSS.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Digitisation for Local History Collections part 2


Standards and Guidelines for Digitisation

Standards

Internationally accepted standards will be observed for RHSV digitisation projects. Metadata standards are used for digitisation of images. The standards provide an agreed set of fields in a standard format to aid the accessibility of an image and its associated records by any computer on the Internet. Dublin Core is the metadata standard used by major image digitisation projects in Australia. The fifteen Dublin Core metadata elements are:


Title, Creator, Subject, Description, Publisher, Contributor, Date, Type, Format, Identifier, Source, Language, Relation, Coverage, Rights


Not all elements have to be included as fields in the cataloguing record. The names of fields do not have to be identical to the names of the elements as metadata tags in report forms connect the fields to the metadata element.


However catalogue records for images should contain fields relating to the basic metadata elements especially Title, Creator, Subject, Description, Date.


In initial digitisation projects preference may be given to items with detailed / reliable cataloguing information.


Thesauruses

A thesaurus is used for standardisation of terminology for subject headings




Authority files

Standard use of names for people, places and organisations used in Subjects field


Project Manual

Detailed manual for the project to be prepared

  • Establish guidelines
  • Provide works sheets
  • Prepare examples


Resolution and size of scanned images


Resolution

  • 72 or 75 dpi sufficient when viewing images on computer and Internet
  • 300 + dpi for printing on paper - at output size


Size of image

  • Normally – size of the original scanned at 300 dpi (if scanning for preservation)
  • Normally – size of original scanned at 300 dpi (if scanning for printing on paper) Scanning may be carried out at a higher dpi depending on the quality of print required.
  • items such as lantern slides, glass negatives and other slides should be scanned at 600 dpi so that the scan is equivalent to that of an item 20 cm x 25 cm scanned at 300 dpi The image resolution can the be reduced for screen use .
  • Fixed size of image on screen (for Internet, largest dimensions no larger than 520 pixels – probably 300 pixels may suffice).
  • Ability to enlarge image on screen for computer catalogue (DB/TextWorks) (larger image required)


Issues determining publishing images on the Internet

Size of file should be small to ensure that:

  • Users can view image as a reference copy but cannot successfully enlarge image
  • Image files download quickly


Therefore items to be

  • Scanned at 300 dpi and saved on to CD as Tiff files
  • Resaved with resolution of 75 dpi and saved as jpeg for use with computer catalogue
  • Resaved after resizing image for Internet – this can be done in a batch using a Thumbnails program (Batch Thumbs http://www.harmware.net/bthumbs.htm or Easy Thumbnails http://www.fookes.com/ezthumbs/ )


Physical resources


Current equipment (2005)

  • A4 scanner (purchased 2003)
  • A4 fill platen scanner (in Images Room – purchased 1995)
  • Attachment for scanning negatives and slides
  • Digital camera
  • Computer
  • Scanning and image software
  • CD-ROM writer for initial storage of images
  • DB/TextWorks for indexing and accessing images


Further equipment required (2005)

  • A3 scanner with attachments for scanning slides etc
  • Pigment ink printer A3 size (eg Epsom 2100)
  • Computer with sufficient capacity for graphics project
  • Lighting for existing camera stand
  • Digital camera for taking images of large and / or fragile items
  • CD-ROM disks
  • Back-up system
  • USB pen


Specialised software

  • Full version of Adobe Photoshop


Furniture

  • Table
  • Computer Chairs x 2



Funding

Grant money for

  • Equipment and software
  • Furniture
  • Managing project
  • Associated operating costs


Staffing

Roles and responsibilities of the project team

(To be decided)


Current staffing

  • Volunteers will require training
  • Names of volunteers who may be involved in project

Physical space required in Images Room

  • Scanner attached to computer
  • Additional table and computer chairs


Storage of digital images

  • Master copy of CD-ROM should be held separately
  • More than one copy of CD-ROM should be made
  • Copy of CD-ROM (not master) used to view images
  • One copy of CD-ROM should be stored off-site
  • Awareness of advances in technology to ensure that images can be accessed on equipment or migrated to new system


Steps for possible digitisation projects

This is a long term project that needs to be divided into a series of short term projects or stages. Below are suggestions for tackling possible projects with steps involved:



Steps related to digitising photographs

Start with Collection Treasures or themes such as Architecture or Personalities in Victorian History

  • Revise entries in database
  • Scan image at 300 dpi, save as Tiff files and store image on CD-ROM
  • Resave image at 72 dpi, save as jpeg file and store image on CD-ROM
  • Link image to catalogue record
  • Resize batch of images for use on the Internet
  • Link image to database entry


Steps related to digitising postcards

  • Revise entries in database
  • Scan image at 300 dpi, save as Tiff files and store image on CD-ROM
  • Resave image at 72 dpi, save as jpeg file and store image on CD-ROM
  • Link image to catalogue record
  • Resize batch of images for use on the Internet
  • Link image to database entry


Steps related to glass slides

  • Revise entries in database
  • Scan image at 600 dpi, save as Tiff files and store image on CD-ROM
  • Resave image at 72 dpi, save as jpeg file and store image on CD-ROM
  • Link image to catalogue record
  • Resize batch of images for use on the Internet
  • Link image to database entry


Other outcomes of Digitisation Project

The above information refers primarily to digitisation of images.

Other outcomes of the digitisation project will include:

  1. Scanning of documents / manuscripts and pages from other book material to save as image files or use OCR software to convert to text files.
  2. Scanning of documents to save pages as image files and store on CD-ROM for indexers to use for indexing projects.
  3. Scanning fragile collections such as the lantern slides and making the slides available as slide shows either on computers in the library or on the Internet.
  4. Expansion of service to affiliated societies by extending cataloguing assistance already provided to societies to include:

  • Providing guidelines specifically for digitisation projects in historical societies
  • Digitisation workshops for societies
  • Promoting standards for digitisation projects

References


Image digitisation of local history collections Victorian Public Libraries

http://www.libraries.vic.gov.au/downloads/Victorias_Virtual_Library_Digital_Collection/manual.htm


Capture your collections: small museums version

http://www.collectionsaustralia.net/sector_info_item/10


National Library of Australia: digitisation policy

http://www.nla.gov.au/policy/digitisation.html


Dublin Core Metadata http://dublincore.org/documents/dces

Digitisation Plan for Local History Collections

This digitisation plan was produced when planning the digitisation of RHSV collections in 2005.


The information in this digitisation plan was used as part of a Digitisation Workshop held at the Royal Historical Society in 2008.


The information in this digitisation plan is published as a guide for historical societies planning to undertake digitisation projects and writing a digitisation plan for their society.


The first section looks at reasons for digitisation collections.

The second section looks at standards and guidelines for digitisation projects.


Digitisation Plan for RHSV Collections

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria has collected material relating to the history of Victoria since the inception of the Society in 1909, resulting in a rich and diverse collection covering social, economic, political, legal and cultural aspects of Victoria’s history. The collection, consisting primarily of printed material, manuscripts and images, is used by researchers, post-graduate students, authors and commercial enterprises.


Advances in information technology including the Internet provide greater accessibility to information resources by researchers. The Society recognises the opportunity provided by new developments in information technology to improve access to the collection, promote the collection and aid in the preservation of collection items.




Digitisation goals

By digitising collections the Society will:

  • Improve access to the RHSV Collection by enabling researchers, regardless of location, to access digitised materials
  • Promote an understanding of the history of Victoria through provision of digitised items
  • Increase access to and help preserve fragile items in the collection by provision of digital copies
  • Promote standards and guidelines to affiliated societies undertaking local history digitisation projects
  • Provide digital copies of items to users in a variety of formats


Reasons for digitising collections

Access – Improve access to collection items by making digital copies available to a wide range of users

  • Via computer catalogue for researchers at RHSV
  • Via the Internet – providing access to anyone in the world at a time convenient to them
  • Make images in fragile items such as glass slides and glass negatives available to researchers through creation of digital images

Preservation/Conservation

  • Preserve rare and fragile items by providing digital copies
  • Protect the collection from potential damage due to over-handling of items
  • Digitising of items forms part of the RHSV’s preservation copying program

Promotion of the RHSV collection

  • Extent of collection
  • Treasures of the collection
  • Encourage use of the collection by a wide range of users

Publication of digital materials of items from the collection

  • Inclusion of digital images of items in in-house publications
  • Inclusion of digital images of items / digital materials in online resources:

- Website

- Online exhibitions

Provision of digital images as required for users in a range of formats


Potential users of digitised items

  • Researchers using the catalogue / databases at the RHSV
  • Researchers accessing RHSV databases via the Internet
  • RHSV staff and members requiring digital images for publications, displays etc
  • Users requiring images for publication and other uses
  • Viewers of online resources
  • Users requiring scanned text converted using OCR


Digitised materials will be used as:

  • Images attached to records in the library catalogue
  • Images attached to records on a database on the Internet
  • Images stored on CD-ROM to be accessed if digital copies of images are required
  • Specific images made available on

- CD-ROM

- Floppy disks

- Email

- Other formats (constantly changing)

  • Images or documents in websites, online exhibitions and other forms of online publication
  • Printed on paper (surrogate copies)



Issues to be considered concerning digitisation of collection materials:

  • Developing copyright / access right and moral rights policy / procedure
  • Determining potential items or categories of items for digitisation
  • Prioritising potential items or categories of items for digitisation
  • Checking copyright status of potential items for digitisation
  • Ensuring that copyright status of new material is determined when brought into the collection
  • Ensuring whether or not permission for possible reformatting of the item is granted is noted and signed by donor on the Donor Form
  • Developing Policy on Preservation Copying of Collection Materials
  • Revising information in database entries in line with meta data standards for publishing digital images online
  • Determining specifications for digitising images for RHSV digitisation projects
  • Determining specifications for publishing digital images on the Internet
  • Determining conditions under which digital material will be made available to the public for private and corporate use
  • Formulating charging structure for provision of digital material for purchase by users
  • Revising agreement on use of RHSV materials purchased by users to include the use of digital material


Potential items and collections of items for digitisation

  • Items not in copyright
  • Items for which RHSV holds copyright or has permission from copyright owner to copy


Formats

  • Photographs
  • Postcards – Several books of postcards have already been scanned as a pilot digitisation project
  • Glass slides / glass negatives
  • Maps
  • Artworks
  • Large and / or fragile photographs
  • Albums of photographs
  • Manuscripts, scrapbooks, ephemera and other publications


Categories

  • Collection treasures
  • Themes