We would like to digitise our archive of school magazines and I was wondering if you could advise how best to get assistance with this. Clare Gleeson, Librarian, Queen Margaret College, Wellington
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Hi Clare - This sounds like a great project. I'm assuming you are wanting to make the magazines available online or through some similar form of digital access. Have a look through our Make it Digital Scorecard in our Selecting Guide to check that you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. We think there are five main considerations to start with: * One of the first considerations is to decide how you will deliver the content. You may find converting each item to PDF is a convenient way of making each edition accessible. Alternatives are to provide a fully online version, similar to those provided by the NZ Electronic Text Centre. This may be more than you need however. * If you want the magazine pages to be text searchable you will need to explore Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert the text into a searchable form, probably to sit alongside or hidden behind images of each page. A properly authored PDF file will also be largely text-searchable. * If your pages are A3 or under, you are likely to be able to use a standard flatbed scanner to scan each page. There are several A3 and A4 models commercially available. If the pages are larger, you may need to consider an intermediate step of professional microfilming to get a scannable copy. * To help ensure you have a high quality copy, ideally you will want a set of the magazines that can be disbound. This usually involves slicing the spine off copies, so while not destroying these copies, it will permanently damage them. There are other methods, such as using a professional book scanner, but will be more expensive. You could also settle for a lower quality image if you are able to flatten and scan a two-page spread without breaking the spine of each issue. * Assuming this is a one time only process, for longevity you will want to capture the copies in as high quality an image as possible. Consider full colour 24-bit images captured as TIFF masters, then converted to JPG for access. ALternatively, grayscale will be smaller but allow decent reproduction of black and white pictures. Bi-tonal (such as used by Papers Past) will provide adequate text readability, but is very limited for pictorial content. If you cannot undertake the scanning yourself, there are companies available that can undertake this work for you. Have a look through some of the content available through http://search.digitalnz.org and make contact with some of the providers of digitised content that you like the look of. Most will be happy to tell you who they used to undertake the work. You can also check out http://ndf.natlib.govt.nz/register/register.htm for details of other NZ digitisation projects, although some of this information is out of date.