ERIC Number: ED351037
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Electronic Technologies and Preservation.
Waters, Donald J.
Digital imaging technology, which is used to take a computer picture of documents at the page level, has significant potential as a tool for preserving deteriorating library materials. Multiple reproductions can be made without loss of quality; the end product is compact; reproductions can be made in paper, microfilm, or CD-ROM; and access over electronic networks is easy. Numerous challenges, however, face users of digital technology. These include: difficulty of browsing on a computer screen; lack of models to assess cost-effectiveness; the relatively short life span of digital storage media and the hardware and software needed to gain access to digital images; and copyright problems. Six approaches will enable librarians to explore the promise of this technology. First the advantages of converting a document to microfilm, which is relatively permanent, or to digital imagery, which is easier to access, need to be carefully considered. Second, as librarians are exploring and evaluating the usefulness of the new technology, they should work with documents that the developing technology can accommodate with few problems and work with materials that are out of copyright. Third, the new technology should not be adopted wholesale but through a series of increments. A fourth approach is to develop and test hypotheses about the value and optimal application of the new technology. A fifth is to build the imaging program around technical standards and products developed for the broad market place. Sixth, libraries should cooperate to make digital image documents widely accessible. Future action needed includes verifying and monitoring the usefulness of digital imagery; sharing methods and standards for image production, storage and distribution; creating and enlarging the base of materials preserved in digital form; and developing reliable and affordable mechanisms to gain access to digital image documents. (Includes 10 references/notes.) (KRN)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Change Strategies, Electronic Equipment, Higher Education, Library Cooperation, Library Materials, Microfilm, Optical Data Disks, Planning, Preservation, Research Libraries, Technological Advancement
Commission on Preservation and Access, 1400 16th Street, N.W., Suite 740, Washington, DC 20036-2117 ($5 prepaid).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commission on Preservation and Access, Washington, DC.