While at the Society for American Archaeology’s 83rd Annual Meeting, Jodi presented a paper entitled, ‘Resources, goals, and standards: the basics of digitizing archaeological collections and legacy materials’. This was a great opportunity to talk about digital curation, and to learn about other aspects of collections management and preservation. The session was organized by Danielle M. Benden (Driftless Pathways) and Michelle Knoll (Natural History Museum of Utah). Jodi's abstract can be found below. Plans are in the works to expand it into a practical how-to article!
Digitization, the conversion of an analog item and creation a digital surrogate, is an important collections management tool. Digitizing collection materials can provide engaging images for public outreach and education, improve knowledge of the collection and access. It also aids in the preservation of materials by creating digital surrogates of content. Digitizing material can rescue content from obsolete media, provide a way for researchers to view content while protecting fragile, physical items, and/or provide a digital version of the item that can be copied and preserved. Digitization can be daunting, though: it requires an investment in people, technology, and space; and an awareness of standards that can appear to be constantly changing. This practical presentation is designed for collections managers, curators, and conservators new to digitizing collections or who want to build on a nascent digitization program. It will also be helpful for archaeologists coping with legacy archaeology materials.