I recently spoke with Sharon Bradley, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Georgia School of Law, about her participation in the LYRASIS Digitization Collaborative, and their contribution of historic Georgia code volumes.
Project Site: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/ga_code/
LIPA: How did the idea for this project come about?
Bradley: This project was generated by the library. As so many projects start, it was a way to reduce work involved in answering repeated patron requests. Also, every request for copies of pages from fragile historic volumes added to their deteriorating condition. Now, we just send a link.
Bradley explained that the larger project was coordinated by LYRASIS, a non-profit that partners with its member institutions to build and care for digital collections. They provide training, expertise and collaboration on building projects, and hosting, and other technology support.
LIPA: How did you handle staffing and funding for the project?
Bradley: The staffing was me, preparing the paperwork and packing the items to send to LYRASIS. The library absorbed the cost. Worth every penny not only for any saving the library realized, but it’s been a great PR tool.
Bradley noted several advantages of partnering with LYRASIS on the project, including that the material is available now on the Internet Archive as well as their Digital Commons site. Also the work was done offsite by professionals that did a great job scanning. “We could not have produced the same quality without a big financial investment in staff, hardware, and software.”
LIPA: Is there anything you’d like to tell other LIPA members who may be considering digitization, about your experience?
Bradley: No digitization project will be a waste of time or money. While the origin of the quote is in dispute, it seems relevant, “If not us, who? If not now, when?” I really believe we all have to start today.
Many thanks to Sharon Bradley for her work on this project, and for being willing to share her experiences with us in our first LIPA Digitization Story!