Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization: A White Paper

The Council on Library and Information Resources has published Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization: A White Paper by Oya Rieger.

Here's an excerpt from the "Preface":

This paper examines large-scale initiatives to identify issues that will influence the availability and usability, over time, of the digital books that these projects create. As an introduction, the paper describes four key large-scale projects and their digitization strategies. Issues range from the quality of image capture to the commitment and viability of archiving institutions, as well as those institutions' willingness to collaborate. The paper also attempts to foresee the likely impacts of large-scale digitization on book collections. It offers a set of recommendations for rethinking a preservation strategy. It concludes with a plea for collaboration among cultural institutions. No single library can afford to undertake a project on the scale of Google Book Search; it can, however, collaborate with others to address the common challenges that such large projects pose.

Although this paper covers preservation administration, digital preservation, and digital imaging, it does not attempt to present a comprehensive discussion of any of these distinct specialty areas. Deliberately broad in scope, the paper is designed to be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders. These stakeholders include scholars; staff at institutions that are currently providing content for large-scale digital initiatives, are in a position to do so in the future, or are otherwise influenced by the outcomes of such projects; and leaders of foundations and government agencies that support, or have supported, large digitization projects. The paper recommends that Google and Microsoft, as well as other commercial leaders, also be brought into this conversation.

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