According to recent surveys on the use of the technology, the majority of institutions want to make digitalization their first priority technology. As high-speed Internet connections become more affordable and accessible, and online services become a part of modern life, it is normal for all institutions and establishments to publish images and text and more on their sites, social media and specialized applications.
The importance of digitization
Digital documents from a scan are used to:
- most often for the management of collections, the preparation of catalogs and the promotion of exhibitions gold other activities.
Why has digitization become so popular?
- It makes the collections much more accessible (collections that were once too distant, objects too fragile to be handled or exposed)
- It allows to highlight particular aspects of local history or to reach a national audience or international.
- It brings together, for comparison and research purposes, objects or collections scattered several places
- It can become a powerful teaching tool.
- Digitization can also contribute to collections management by providing all staff with better information on the contents of the collections.
- Simply selecting objects to be scanned provides staff with an additional opportunity to evaluate and to record the state of the objects. Digitization also encourages better documentation, in particular when accompanying recordings are intended to be made public at the same time as the images digitized: the need for standards and better information is quickly becoming evident.
- Scanned objects are used in a wide range of broadcast products such as websites, promotional material, new items for the museum souvenir shop, etc.
- Digitization contributes to preservation strategies since, once digitized, analogue originals fragile are more immune to manipulation and aggression.
- As digital technology makes it possible to search a large number of recordings, modify and process images and texts and collect disparate elements according to news, it can be a versatile and valuable tool in all areas of the museum.
- The ease of execution of the tasks mentioned above also favors closer collaboration with other institutions.
Why there’s a need for scanning the documents and images?
- More damage to the media in consultation – Once scanned, the original documents can be kept in optimal conditions without the danger of handling them. So we increase their security.
- Reproduction – it is possible to make copies of already digitized information using either the same storage format is another digital format without loss of quality.
- Automation – are automated not only the return of items requested by researchers, thanks to the use of robotic storage systems, but also the process of reproduction.
- Search – scanning offers the ability to search both local catalogs as far and create a web of links or pointers from the document accessed by the user to related documents from the same collection or others. Full-text searches can additionally be performed. Similar research techniques are being developed for sound documents and images (search and recognition of musical phrases, rhythms, patterns, shapes, etc.)
- Accessibility – “remote”, it is the ability to send a digital signal on the networks of telecommunications without loss of quality.
- Speed of copying – in the digital domain, it is possible to copy hard copy or transfer data at a very high speed. The future transfer of collections to new media will be much more faster than the initial transition to scanning.
- Quality – it is the ability to scan a document with a very high resolution, as needed. He is also very easy to make low quality copies from the high quality copy each time it is necessary.
Advantages of digitalization
Digitization brings many benefits, facilitating processing and storage information and offering incomparable transmission quality. These qualities coupled with its independence by the nature of the information transmitted explain the widespread use of digital technologies at the expense of the analogs.
- Space needed – high density of information storage on digital media may mean by a major reduction of the necessary shelving space. Hence, also, a reduction of space requiring climate regulation in accordance with archival standards and, as a result, lowering operating expenses. Moreover, a digital signal can be strongly compressed with or without loss of information.
A compression with loss of information can be carried out without loss of “sensitive” information, that is, detectable. Digital information is easily storable on media whose capacity increases and whose cost and size decrease rapidly over the years.
2. Future transfers – if a collection of documents is copied to an analog medium, the cost of its future transfers will be identical to that of this first reproduction. If it is copied on a digital medium, it will be able, during future transfers, to take advantage of the digital copying possibilities inherent to digital. The transfer of digital data collections is not a new phenomenon. Banking circles, by example, have successfully transferred their databanks several times. Their experience can offer useful lessons for the transfer of text, visual and sound information.3. Constitutes a backup / replacement copy – The digital document is a copy of backup of the original. Digitization offers a replacement strategy for objects, such as films and sound archives, in the process of deterioration.