Digitization for Periodicals & Publishers
Newspapers and magazines have a vast collection of back issues taking up space or hidden away on microfilm. Searching these massive archives for a specific article or author can be an inefficient and time-consuming process. Through digitization, these archives can become more than isolated, underutilized, in-house sources. Instead, publishers can turn back-catalog archives into a stable source of revenue while protecting the information within from disaster.
Access, Efficiency, and Monetization
Through digitization and full-text OCR, publishers can utilize their back-catalog collections for the benefit of in-house staff and customers alike. Back issues from ten, twenty, or a hundred years ago are of interest to historians, staff, and avid customers of a publication. Digitization frees collections trapped in storage and makes them accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Staff working from home no longer need to come into the office just to search the collection, and researchers or historians unable to travel to a physical collection can gain access to an expansive resource.
Publications can utilize this new digital resource as a source of income by instituting paywalls. From pay-to-print options to annual subscriptions for access, a currently ignored back catalog can pay for its own digitization costs through collection monetization.
Protection from Damage or Disaster
While no one can protect against every threat, digitization provides an extra layer of security. Fires, floods, and other natural disasters can decimate a physical back catalog, and piecing such a collection back together from private collectors might be impossible. But with a digital library, the entire collection will live on long past its physical counterpart and make an impact for centuries to come.
OCR & Metadata
A collection that can’t be quickly or easily searched wastes time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Digital copies created using optical character recognition (OCR) are fully searchable without paging through rare and possibly delicate paper issues. If full-text OCR is not a practical goal, strategic use of metadata can still offer a robust search feature. Names, dates, titles, keywords or other specialized information can all be added to a digital collection.
A Word from
Helpful Resources for Your Preservation Needs
by Shana Scott Gas station receipts, junk mail catalogs, and notepad doodles aren’t exactly what we imagine future researchers studying to learn about our time