the national archives' digitisation services
Post on 25-Jul-2016
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DESCRIPTIONWe are increasingly using our expertise to help other archives, businesses and private organisations develop and modernise their own collections. We can help you do this.
ENRICH EXPLORE ENHANCEYOUR ARCHIVESDIGITISATION SERVICES
The National Archives is the official archive of the UK Government and for England and Wales. We are the guardians of some of the most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years.
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Our repositories are filled with priceless treasures: our nations story can be read through the documents and artefacts we hold. From the Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, our collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.
CONTENTSTHE NATIONAL ARCHIVES 1
WHY DIGITISE? 3
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU 5
TRUSTED ADVICE 7
DIGITAL IMAGE CAPTURE 11
LEVEL OF CARE 13
OUR CLIENTS 15
WANT TO KNOW MORE? 17
PRESERVING INFORMATION FOR THE FUTUREOur 21st century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. We serve millions of customers every year, both in person at Kew and online, making us one of the largest and most successful archives in the world.
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GENERATING INCOMEMany documents contain information that can have a commercial value when presented to the right audiences. Digitisation unlocks this potential to create new income streams.
BRANDOpening up your archives can benefit your brand by inspiring new audiences and raising the profile of the institution. Many modern brands are rediscovering the value of their brand heritage.
ACCESS The information in documents can be published in a number of ways and made available to global audiences, so that access is no longer restricted to those able to visit the physical location, saving both time and travel costs. There is also the ability to access existing resources which have been previously limited by their format, such as large maps and materials stored on microfilm.
More and more businesses are adding value to their collections through developing digitisation initiatives. Every organisation has different priorities but the benefits of digitisation include:
SEARCHABILITYCapturing the right descriptive data from a digitised document makes finding relevant content much easier, and helps maximise research efficiency. This also supports more innovative methods of research.
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PRESERVATIONFollowing digitisation, physical documents will not need to be accessed as often, therefore reducing potential damage caused by handling.
INTERACTIONDigitised content is versatile and can be used to communicate with customers across a range of channels. It is a particularly strong tool for social media, opening dialogue with customers and encouraging activity such as crowdsourcing and blogging.
INTEGRATIONRecords can be integrated with digital systems and made readily discoverable within digital catalogues.
DISASTER RECOVERYPaper records are vulnerable to many risks. If a site disaster leads to loss of analogue formats, digital copies can ensure information remains retrievable.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOUAt the National Archives, we have been imaging our own vast collection of records since the 1960s, initially producing microfilm. We began the shift to digital outputs over ten years ago, and now digitise around 8 million pages of archival material per year.
OUR DIGITISATION SERVICES TEAMWe have built up significant experience and a highly qualified team of digitisation experts. Although we continue to digitise our own material, we also have capacity to undertake digitisation projects for other organisations and are able to offer a professional service using our own resources.
NO DIGITISATION PROJECT IS TOO BIG OR TOO SMALLWhatever the size of your archive, and whatever the aims of your digitisation programme, our digitisation services team can help. We appreciate that each archive and collection is unique and our team will work with you to develop a bespoke service to meet your specific requirements, incorporating any or all of the services we offer.
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YOUR DIGITISATION PROJECTWe are increasingly using our expertise to help other archives, businesses and private organisations develop and modernise their own collections. We understand the complexities of the process, and can help you articulate your requirements and turn them into a successful project.
OUR DIGITISATION SERVICES INCLUDE:
Free on-site consultation and advice
Conservation services and expert document preparation
Digitisation of original documents and microfilm
Secure storage of material Creation of different file types
to suit your records (TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PDF)
Metadata creation Optical Character Recognition
(OCR) and transcription Advice on preservation and
data storage solutions
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The first stage of a digitisation project is to define the business requirements, as these guide everything that follows. We can provide advice and guidance to help you do this, creating a solution that meets your long-term strategic needs.
PROJECT ESTIMATIONThe estimation team work to understand exactly how much digitisation is required. An accurate estimation is achieved by:
A physical page count of each document An overview of project specifications; image file format
and resolution Learning about any requirements for Optical Character
Recognition (OCR) or transcription Consideration of transportation of the documents
from and to the clients premises The key to a successful digitisation project is to fully understand the material and the requirements of the organisation. We take time and effort to get to grips with this, and produce estimates that are based on physical evidence and the results of detailed analysis. Through our years of experience, we recognise that there is no such thing as a safe assumption; putting the effort in to scope out a project accurately invariably leads to a smooth process. We will work with you to understand your needs in order to produce a robust plan that can be delivered on time and to budget. To begin this process, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CONSERVATIONRecords and documents in archive collections are often delicate and fragile. Due to the physical nature of digitisation, there is a risk that if not managed appropriately, document condition could worsen.
THE TEAMManaged by a professionally accredited conservation manager, our specialist team of qualified paper and book conservators are skilled in stabilising and conserving records. They can lend the techniques they use in conserving our collection to the preparation of your records for digitisation. The team has responsibility for all conservation elements of digitisation projects, ensuring that preservation of the documents is maintained throughout the process.
BENEFITS OF CONSERVATION IN A DIGITISATION PROJECT:
Protects and stabilises documents, allowing them to be digitised
Allows more efficient image capture as documents are more robust
Reveals text that has previously been illegible due to damage/folds/dirt
Achieves optimum image quality
Reduces reputational risk to the organisation
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Our thorough knowledge of the digitisation process, equipment and capture techniques ensure we fulfil the specified requirements, matching the expectations of your project plan. The team will ensure that image capture is completed to the requested technical standard, and that all images are processed correctly and to the high degree of accuracy you would expect from The National Archives.
DIGITAL IMAGE CAPTURE
WE NOW DIGITISE AROUND 8 MILLION PAGES OF ARCHIVAL MATERIAL PER YEAR
THE STUDIO Our digitisation studio is located on-site at Kew. We have the equipment, dedicated facilities and specialist staff to offer a range of services. We specialise in capturing high volumes of digital images from large collections, and with our state of the art equipment we can digitise a wide range of materials.
We can output images in a variety of formats, and onto many types of media to suit individual requirements. At each stage in the digitisation process we provide stringent quality assurance, checking that images meet the required standards.
WE DIGITISE A RANGE OF FORMATS
Bound volumes Manuscripts Rolls and parchments Newspapers Maps, plans and technical
drawings Photographs Blueprints Oversized material (A0+) Negatives and glass plates Transparencies Microfilm
We also have the capability in our studio to digitise large-scale documents, such as maps, on our large format equipment.
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LEVEL OF CAREWe understand that fragile and precious records