B2. Selection of Materials

The purpose for digitization projects and daily scanning activities generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Information Sharing: To enable users to directly access and use, a range of materials where copyright and agreements allow
  • Supporting Research: To build a critical mass of digital content to support research, programs, and activities.
  • Preservation: To preserve rare and fragile materials and those at risk of format obsolescence, while also improving access to their content by providing digital copies of the items for use.

The value (or worth) of the materials, as well as the positive aspects of access to them in electronic form, will rationalize the amount of time and effort spent in accomplishing a digitization project. All digitization activities and projects need to consider the following selection criteria:

  • Value
    • Informational Value-- records that provide significant information on key people, places, events, objects, periods, activities, processes, and projects, etc.
    • Administrative Value -- records that have functional usefulness to an organization
    • Archival Value -- rare or unique cultural material with intrinsic value to its users
  • Use and Demand
    • Highly used or accessed materials
    • Materials that are currently difficult to access
  • Risk
    • Materials at risk of loss or deterioration
    • Rate of technological change
  • Rights
    • Intellectual property rights and moral considerations
    • Materials made available for research
    • Information in the public domain