Planning digitising projects with reference to acquiring appropriate equipment for the project and the quality management process using case studies in South Africa

CARSTENS, Antenie (2017) Planning digitising projects with reference to acquiring appropriate equipment for the project and the quality management process using case studies in South Africa. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 210 - Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Strategic Programme.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Planning digitising projects with reference to acquiring appropriate equipment for the project and the quality management process using case studies in South Africa

Due to the pressure to digitise collections for public access and preservation, many institutions in South Africa invested large amounts of money to buy large format scanners. Unfortunately very few institutions make use of proper digitising project planning which often results in inaccurate reporting of quantities of the different types of heritage material in their collections earmarked for digitisation. The effect of poor planning, may often lead to wrong decisions when acquiring equipment for the project which can be a waste of resources such as money and labour. The wrong equipment results in under-utilisation as well as inferior digital produced material due to the fact that the equipment was designed for a different purpose. In some cases equipment become redundant due to outdated software or loss of manufacturer support. Often these unfortunate situations can be avoided by proper planning and consultation with experienced institutions or researchers in the field. Lack of communication between organisations in South Africa is often the cause of questionable decisions. Rapid progress in scanner technology over the past 4 years gave rise to an increase of one-shot systems. Furthermore, the progress towards introducing ISO standards of quality management and the improvement of the delivered quality of the scanners which can achieve these standards, is a major step towards the guarantee of high quality digital content for future access and long term preservation. The important aspects of quality management (QM) and monitoring are often neglected in projects in South Africa. Locally formulated standards implemented as early as 1999 are not always applicable in new systems anymore. The question is why are project leaders not willing to invest money in a proper QM programme to ensure high quality content for the future?

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