Digital Projects Selection Checklist
As you begin discussing your potential project with a member of the Digital Assets Management Committee, we ask that you review this document and place check marks next to the appropriate statements.
The Library prefers permission to distribute the digitized material to all users, but if necessary can limit access to a specific class.
- source materials are in public domain, or
- owned by St. Olaf College, or
- copyright holder is willing to confer distribution rights, or
- co-creators of this project are St. Olaf College members and are willing to transfer rights to the St. Olaf College Library, or
- use of the material for my class can be justified under Fair Use Guidelines
The Library will not digitize an object for which a digital surrogate already exists and can be reasonably obtained.
- there is no identical or similar digital product that can reasonably meet the expressed needs
Please note: If the first areas (Rights and Non-Duplication) cannot be checked, the proposed project probably cannot go forward.
Does the intellectual quality of the source material warrant the level of access made possible by providing digital access? Many factors contribute, but certainly they include intellectual content, historic, and physical value:
- project would have significance to other St. Olaf College areas of excellence
- materials would compliment existing collection strengths
- rareness or uniqueness of source materials or content
- source materials or content have high artifactual or associational value
- important for the understanding of the relevant subject area
- broad or deep coverage of the relevant subject area
- potential for enduring value in digital form
- have potential to develop into larger grant opportunities
- have sufficient subject or discipline knowledge and expertise for project development
Enhancement of intellectual access
Will digital access enhance the intellectual value of the material and add significantly to its potential to enlighten?
Are scholars now consulting the proposed source materials? Are the materials being used as much as they might be? Or is current access to the proposed materials so difficult that digitization will create a new audience, more active scholarship, or new kinds of teaching? To justify the effort and expense, there should be a reasonable expectation that the product will have immediate utility for members of the academic community and/or other appropriate audiences:
- would provide support for current high priority activities or areas of interest
- likely to be of long term use within the academic community
- there is an active, current, good-sized audience for the materials
- there is advocacy for the project from the College community
- likely to generate new types of use or significantly increased use of existing resources
Collaborative across collections
Will the combination or aggregation of original sources greatly increase their value? Are related materials so widely dispersed that they cannot be studied in context?
- part of a collection split among a number of institutions that could be united online as a virtual collection
- contribution to development of a "critical mass" of digital materials in a subject area
- flexible integration and synthesis of a variety of formats, or of related materials scattered among many locations
- strengthen or enhance an existing resource
Is the long-term preservation of deteriorated materials a project goal? While digitization does not in itself constitute preservation, there are preservation aspects to be considered, both in terms of the original materials and in terms of the files which will be created.
- significant reduction in handling of fragile materials
- access to materials that cannot otherwise be easily used
- protection of materials at high risk of theft or mutilation
- condition of originals allows them to be digitized safely
- condition of originals requires conservation/rehousing for safe digitization; funding must be secured for this work
- possibility of scanning photographic intermediaries instead of the originals
Potential projects should be evaluated as to whether appropriate intellectual control can be provided for the original materials and the digital versions:
Adapted from Brown University’s Digital Project Selection Checklist, which was adapted from the College of Arizona's Digital Library Initiatives Group Digital Project Development Checklist (http://digital.library.arizona.edu/documents/development/checklist.rtf)