- A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections
Collections Principle 1
Collections Principle 1: A good digital collection is created according to an explicit collection development policy that has been agreed upon and documented before building the collection begins.
Of all factors, collection development is most closely tied to an organization’s own goals and constituencies. Collection builders should be able to refer to the mission statement of their organization and articulate how a proposed collection furthers or supports that mission. The institution should be able to identify the target audience(s) for the collection but also think about unexpected uses and users. If the institution collects print, artifacts or other non-digital materials, the digital collection should fit in with the organization’s overall collection policy.
There are a few cases where a selection policy may not be required: digitization on demand, when an organization is creating digital content based on end-user requests, and mass digitization programs, which are often indiscriminate. Even these efforts require planning and should follow principles for building good collections as appropriate. Disciplinary or institutional repositories that encourage users to deposit their own intellectual property present an interesting case. These still benefit from a published collection policy, but it may have to be fairly flexible in acknowledgement that the users may be the best judges of relevance.
The following documents are general guidelines for selecting materials for digitization.
- Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI), Selection and Preparation of Materials (2003) http://www.tasi.ac.uk/advice/creating/selection.html.
- Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI), Selection Procedures (2003) http://www.tasi.ac.uk/advice/creating/selecpro.html.
- Northeast Document Conservation Center, Handbook for Digital Projects, chapter IV: Selection of Materials for Scanning (2000) http://nedcc.org/oldnedccsite/digital/iv.htm.
- Joint RLG and NPO Preservation Conference, Guidelines for Digital Imaging: Guidance for selecting materials for digitisation (1999) http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/archive/00000492/01/paul_ayris3.pdf.
- Anne R. Kenney and Oya Y. Rieger, Moving Theory into Practice: Chapter 2, Selection (2000) http://www.library.cornell.edu/preservation/tutorial/selection/selection-01.html. A short, general guide with pointers to library selection policies and a bibliography.
- California Digital Library, Collection Development Framework website http://www.cdlib.org/inside/collect/framework.html. Covers both commercially licensed and locally digitized resources.
Local policies on selecting materials for digitization:
- Columbia University Libraries, Selection Criteria for Digital Imaging (2001) http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/digital/criteria.html.
- University of California Libraries, Selection Criteria for Digitization (2005) http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/cdc/pag/digselec.html.
National library policies for digitized and born digital materials:
- Digital National Library of Scotland, Strategic Plan 2005-2008 (2005) http://www.nls.uk/professional/policy/docs/nls_digital_library_strategy.pdf.
- Library and Archives Canada, Digital Collection Development Policy (2006) http://www.collectionscanada.ca/collection/003-200-e.html.
- Library of Congress, Electronic Resources Selection Guidelines (2004) http://www.loc.gov/acq/devpol/electronicselectionguidelines.html.
- National Library of Australia, Collection Digitisation Policy (2006) http://www.nla.gov.au/policy/digitisation.html.
Criteria for inclusion in portals:
- North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online), Portal Collection Development Policy (2000) http://www.ncecho.org/colldev.asp.
- Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE), Collection Scope and Policy Statement (2004) http://www.dlese.org/documents/policy/CollectionsScope_final.html. Selection for inclusion in a topical library of learning objects.
- National Science Digital Library, Collections Policy http://nsdl.org/about/?pager=collection_policy. Selection policy for a collection of collections.
- New Jersey Digital Highway, Collection Development Policy (2004) http://www.njdigitalhighway.org/documents/njdh-coll-dev-policy.pdf. Selection for a statewide collaborative including libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural heritage organizations.
Selecting materials for digitization specifically for preservation purposes:
- Library of Congress Preservation Reformatting Division, Selection Criteria for Preservation Digital Reformatting http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/prd/presdig/presselection.html.
- National Library of Medicine, Selection Criteria for Digital Reformatting (2006) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/psd/pcm/digitizationcriteria.pdf.
Selecting born-digital content for preservation:
- Mary Ide and Leah Weisse, Recommended Appraisal Guidelines for Selecting Born-digital [Television] Master Programs For Preservation and Deposit with the Library of Congress (2006) http://www.ptvdigitalarchive.org/docs/Selection/Recommended Appraisal Guidelines.pdf.
Last updated: 09/03/2008