Introduction to digitisation of collections

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Digitisation of collections
Liz Selby and Helena Liszka
Jewish Museum London
AEJM 2011
Why digitise?
• Bring your collections
out of the dark
• Preventative
conservation
• Bring your collections to
new audiences
• People expect digital
content to be available
and will do so
increasingly in the
future
• Use your content in
creative and innovative
ways – either online or
in collaboration with
others. Don’t get left
behind!
Ways to use your digital content
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Online databases
Online exhibitions
Apps for smart phones and ipads
Virtual tours
Digitisation at the Jewish Museum London
Over 15,000 items (of 28,000 in the collection)
are currently digitised and searchable online:
http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/searchour-collections-new and
www.Europeana.eu
Collections digitised through grant funded
projects such as:
• DCF/DDF (1999 onwards) – Judaica
collection
• Moving Here (New Opportunities fund,
c.2004) - Social history collections
• Judaica Europeana (2010-11) – Prints,
posters, documents and oral histories
Ultimate aim: digitise and upload entire
collection– but dependant on receiving grants
Europeana
Europe’s digital libraries, archives and museums online
http://www.europeana.eu/portal/
• Common point of access to millions of digital objects housed
in Europe’s museums, libraries and archives
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Multilingual search engine
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Type of content includes documents, manuscripts, periodicals,
audio recordings, pictures, photographs, posters and
postcards
• 1500 institutions contributing access to their collections
• Access to 20 million objects online by 2013
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Judaica Europeana: Jewish content
online
• Brings together content under the EUROPEANA theme
of cities, demonstrating specifically the Jewish
contribution to Europe’s cities
• Makes digital content in Europe more accessible, usable
and exploitable by digitising available collections
• Identifying Jewish content in collections that reflect the
activities, creativity and self expression of Jews in
European cities
• Digitising and aggregating this content into a coherent
thematic collection in order to open up access
The network
Judaica Europeana is a network of
leading institutions which
joined forces to promote Jewish
cultural heritage:
• European Association of Jewish
Culture, London
• Judaica Sammlung der
Universitätsbibliothek der Goethe
Universität, Frankfurt am Main
• Alliance Israélite Universelle, Paris
• Amitié, Centre for Research and
Innovation, Bologna
• British Library, London
• Hungarian Jewish Archives,
Budapest
• Jewish Historical Institute,
Warsaw
• Jewish Museum of Greece,
Athens
• Jewish Museum London
• Ministry of Cultural Heritage and
Activity (MiBAC), Rome
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Associate Partners
Ben Uri Gallery – The London
Jewish Museum of Art
Biblioteca Rosenthaliana,
Amsterdam
Center for Jewish History, New
York
Jewish Historical Museum,
Amsterdam
Jewish Museum Berlin
Jewish Museum, Frankfurt/Main
National Library of Israel,
Jerusalem
Paris Yiddish Center—Medem
Library
Sephardi Museum, Toledo
Central Zionist Archives,
Jerusalem
Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid
Salomon Ludwig Steinheim
Institute, Duisberg Museum,
Frankfurt/Main
Our contribution to Judaica
Europeana
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Digitising images, texts and oral
history interviews
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Producing two online exhibitions:
Yiddish Theatre in London and
Jewish Britain: A history in
objects
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Working with schools and
universities
Travelling trunk brought by a German refugee
family to England in May 1939, The Jewish
Museum London
JML collections on Europeana
Reach
unexpected
audiences
Digital resources for Jewish history
European Holocaust Archives Project
http://www.ehri-project.eu/
Digital Yiddish Library:
http://www.archive.org/details/nationalyiddishbookcenter
Sponsored by Stephen Spielberg
Digital Dead Sea Scrolls
http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/
Reconstructing past climate change
through crowd sourcing
Apps – Museum of London street view
Hold your mobile up to a street scene and see the same location in an archive
photograph from the Museum of London collection
Google art project
Digitising our collections
Practical considerations
• Who will fund your project?
• Do you have space for large 3D
photography?
• Do you have the right equipment?
• Do you have staff hours and skills?
• How will you use the digitised resources?
3D object photography
Using the Digistore
Working
with 2D
material
Using volunteers
• Using still life
photography students
from Farnborough
college at the Jewish
Museum
• Using interns at the
British Museum for
the West Africa
digitisation project
Planning, processing, guidelines
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Overview of work load
In-house photography or outsourcing
Selecting material
Copyright checking
Sorting material by size and type; creating batch lists
accordingly; deciding location
• Processing and re-sizing
• Uploading to collections management system (Adlib) and
web
• Guidelines:
www.minervaeurope.org/interoperability/technicalguidelines.htm
Technical considerations
– Need for a digital
master
• Best possible
reproduction
• Create jpegs for
online use, sending
by email etc
– Naming the files
– Digital storage
Documenting your collection
• Good documentation standards increase access
to collections
• Creation of a common language for the
semantic Web using controlled terminologies eg.
Creating terms on Adlib using other thesauri as
reference point eg.Getty
• Applying established vocabularies created by
generations of librarians and scholars to the web
Coffee set from Aden, brought by an Adeni
family to the UK
Poster for 'The Daughter of Zion' at St
Luke's Hall in London, 1944
Interview with Minnie Levy about her WW2 service, recorded in
1991 on cassette tape
Please discuss in groups
• What are the advantages of digitising these items?
• How would you approach digitisation for each object?
• Which would be your priority and why?
• What problems might you encounter? (technical, legal
and practical)
• How would you use the digitised record?
Talking points
• How to select what to digitise? What about those
collections not digitised – ignored? Not used?
• Will smaller museums with smaller budgets be
left behind if they can’t digitise their collections?
• Will digital objects take precedence over the real
thing?
• How will the increase of historical content online
impact upon academic research?
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