ERIC Number: ED427787
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
This paper is a response to discussions of digitization at meetings of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA). NHA asked the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to evaluate the experiences of cultural institutions with digitization projects to date and to summarize what has been learned about the advantages and disadvantages of digitizing culturally significant materials. Findings revealed that digitization often raises expectations of benefits, cost reductions, and efficiencies that can be illusory and, if not viewed realistically, have the potential to put at risk the collections and services libraries have provided for decades. One such false expectation--that digital conversion has already or will shortly replace microfilming as the preferred medium for preservation reformatting--could result in irreversible losses of information. This paper defines digital information; identifies weaknesses of digitization as a preservation treatment; discusses the benefits and drawbacks of digital technology for access; and highlights issues institutions must consider in contemplating a digital conversion project. (AEF)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Costs, Information Management, Information Services, Information Storage, Information Technology, Library Materials, Library Technical Processes, Nonprint Media, Preservation
Council on Library and Information Resources, 1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; Web site: http://www.clir.org ($15).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on Library Resources, Inc., Washington, DC.; Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, DC.