Moving Digitization Projects into Institutional Repositories

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Abstract

Problem- The Lyman Entomological Digitization Project began with a $50,000 grant in the spring of 2003. Drawings, personal letters, hand-written minutes of society meetings, manuscripts of journal articles, historical research, monographs, pamphlets and colour plates formed the initial bulk of the material. Many hours of transcription, changes in the scope of the project, and scanning and editing of documents, consumed the next 18 months. The project stalled at the end of 2005, $22,000 overspent. Methods- Digital projects on dedicated websites with individual databases managing content need maintenance and regular updating. Standards and best practices for library digitization projects are important, but managing a project within the scope of the budget in order to see preliminary results is paramount. We investigated ways to move unfinished, labour intensive projects into a well-maintained database of institutional research output. Conclusions- The development of institutional repositories could also include library digitization projects. One database managing many projects and materials that can properly connect to a unique website, the depository search interface or even the library catalogue seems to be the best avenue for managing multiple projects. Problems with overambitious projects and the design and maintenance of a growing number of websites are untenable.

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Contributing institutions: McGill University; Macdonald Campus Library
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2006
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Institutional repositories; Lyman Project (U.S.); Entomology
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