I’m ready to digitise!

March 23, 2017 mallindine

I’m ready to digitise!

Now’s the time to slow down and think about the project in the round. As experienced hands know, there’s more to a digitisation project than digitising images. Here are some tips on planning so you have your ducks in a row when the time comes.

Your Audience and Goals

Think about your audience and ensure the goals set by your budget holder are in line with the expectations and needs of users and other stakeholders. Before you set your goals ask yourself these questions:


  • Do you want all or part of your collection online?
  • What are the target dates?
  • Are you looking for an income stream?
  • Who is the main audience?
  • Is preservation part of the plan?

Your goals should be set against your resources to make sure you can deliver on them!


Map out what will need to be done to get your images online and searchable, adding in any dependancies. Here are some of the tasks to account for

  • Selection of images to digitise
  • Image optimisation
  • Digitisation
  • Quality control
  • Format conversion
  • Storage
  • Cataloguing and/or link to Collections Management or other systems
  • Keywording
  • Administration
  • Marketing

You can do this kind of thinking by creating a flowchart on a large sheet of paper, or using brainstorming software.

Your Team and Resources

The success of the project will depend on teamwork in your company,  and between you and your software provider.

  • What is the make up of your team and what time and expertise do they have?
  • What are the roles you need to make the project work?
  • Are you open to outsourcing ? (keywording and digitisation are common, but there are other areas you can outsource as well)
  • What is your projected timeline?
  • What are the gaps in your resources and how will you fill them?
  • Who will be responsible for the ongoing access and running of the online collection (you’d be surprised how many organisations have no answer to this question)?

Your specification

Your software may be flexible, but it is important to know which bits of functionality you actually need.  Prioritise what you really need to achieve and concentrate on those functions – other things can be implemented in follow-up phases. Things to think about in advance are:

  • Who needs to access which parts of the collection and are there restrictions?
  • What information is needed to describe the images or video?
  • Who should be able to download your image, and at what resolution?
  • How will your users search for images, by caption, keyword, category or all these?
  • What media do you want to hold on your database?
  • Who will access the admin area of the collection and what are their skills?
  • What licensing models do you want to apply(including Creative Commons licences)?

The project plan

Now you can sketch out an informed plan for reaching your project goals. This will guide how you use your resources and divide the time available into manageable chunks.

Sarah Saunders

Capture has years of experience helping clients run digitisation projects. Pick up the phone and speak to one of our sales team about your project: 01491 873011 e: welcome@capture.co.uk

Images Courtesy of Genus

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