Digitization for Schools & Universities
Access and Online Learning
Schools and universities are cherished institutions of education: their purpose is to expose and enlighten students to new ideas. For this reason, such institutions often house unique libraries or collections for students and researchers to utilize in their study. But with the pursuit of knowledge comes the responsibility to care for the rare, and sometimes fragile, collections. Digitization provides extended opportunities for study and preservation that would be impossible with a solely physical collection.
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 caused many schools and universities to finish their semester with fully online classes. Without physical access to libraries, digital collections become a vital part of the educational process. Digitization circumvents such physical restrictions, and students who tend to prefer online research are more likely to tap into these valuable resources to complete their work.
Additionally, rare collections are of value to researchers in corresponding fields. Before the digital age, researchers were forced to travel in order to discover the important contents of a collection. Digitization allows the free exchange of knowledge and with it the growth of the research field as a whole.
Protection from Disaster
No one wants to imagine a fire or other natural or manmade disaster befalling a collection, especially one that may have the only copies of such work in the field. Unfortunately, failure to prepare can result in the complete loss of knowledge if a disaster should occur. Having a digital backup of rare physical documents ensures that even if the paper is destroyed, the information will remain in use for generations to come.
Rare book rooms and special libraries have a duty to maintain and preserve the materials they hold. Constant use, exposure, and improper handling can all have a detritus effect on the materials. By digitizing old and delicate collections, the value of these collections can be maintained and shared, while the physical documents remain safely stored in archival-quality conditions.
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Helpful Resources for Your Preservation Needs
By Team Lead Marcia Spicer Museums have always been regarded as the interpreters and caretakers of history, science, art, and culture. Immersing oneself in historical