We've been members of Digital Commonwealth almost since the beginning, and we've been using the digitization services provided by the Boston Public Library (conveniently just down the street) for several years. Now, thanks to a fantastic grant, the BPL is able to offer free digitization to DigiComm members for the next year. Keep reading to find out how in their press release.
The Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to announce the application process by which current Digital Commonwealth members may apply for free digitization services from the Boston Public Library (BPL).
A recent grant awarded to the Boston Public Library by the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners) and funded by the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) provides an excellent opportunity for organizations that either are currently individual members of Digital Commonwealth, or are interested in joining. Digital Commonwealth is a statewide collaboration focused on providing access to digital resources of cultural institutions in Massachusetts.
The online application form is now available at http://bit.ly/dcbplform. Starting in October 2011, during the year-long grant, requests will be reviewed each month and approved requests will be scheduled quarterly. Organizations interested in digitizing entire collections of photographs, or manuscripts, or a series of books or bound volumes are encouraged to apply. The BPL might limit the number of images digitized for one institution to approximately 50 bound volumes (1,500 pages) or 5,000 individual items (e.g., photographs, manuscript pages, posters) depending on the number of applications it receives. Although the BPL cannot currently digitize microforms, roll film, audio, or video, we encourage you to include these formats in your application so that we may evaluate which services to provide past the term of this grant.
The BPL is prepared to accommodate as many valid requests as possible. The BPL reserves the right to prioritize the sequence of scanning based on various factors including when the collection is ready for digitization, how long the organization has been a member of the Digital Commonwealth, and workflow-related issues (e.g., size, format, quantity).
This program is one highlight of a new partnership between the Digital Commonwealth and the BPL. Through this partnership, the Digital Commonwealth and the BPL will work together towards a shared goal of creating, maintaining, and expanding a successful and thriving statewide system to provide access to digital resources in Massachusetts.
Membership at either the smaller cultural institution level or larger cultural institution is a requirement to be considered for free digitization services. The Digital Commonwealth’s website includes a page with information about membership fees as well as the rights and responsibilities of members (http://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/doc/memberfees). Digital services to the third membership category, Group Sponsoring Organizations, will also occur during the grant, but the BPL will be working directly with one main representative from each group to target digitization services that will supplement and complement their existing digitization efforts. Organizations that currently are group members (within the Group Sponsoring Organizations) can apply for the free digitization services if they become individual members of Digital Commonwealth.
Digital Commonwealth members who receive free digitization services from the Boston Public Library during this grant project will need to complete tasks associated with the creation of metadata for the digital objects created during the grant and also need to commit to making the digitized items available online through the Digital Commonwealth system. The BPL is prepared to conduct customized site visits and consultations in order to assist in this process. Digital Commonwealth will also be conducting a series of general workshops to support member digitization issues.
This is a great opportunity for institutions who have been hesitant to spend a ton of money having their collections scanned. Even if you don't plan to make the resulting images available to the general public, they can be a great way to send non-circulating research materials to your patrons who can't come see them in person.
We hope you'll take advantage of this funding, and help expand the Digital Commonwealth catalog. Go look!