Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book: Digitizing Collections: Strategic Issues for the Information Manager

For several years, I have used the book that Maxine Sitts edited for the graduate course I teach in Creating, Managing and Preserving Digital Assets:
Sitts, Maxine K. (editor). Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access. Andover, MA: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 2000. This book is available online (only) at (corrected URL)
This year, I decided to add another textbook:
Hughes, Lorna. Digitizing Collections: Strategic Issues for the Information Manager. New York: Neal Schuman, 2004. ISBN: 9781856044660.
I have been pleased with the Handbook for Digital Projects, but felt that it was time to add a newer text. Digitizing Collections is a nice complement to Handbook for Digital Projects. Both cover some of the same topics, but also cover different areas too. For example, Digitizing Collections covers the digitization of audio and video, which is not covered in the Handbook for Digital Projects. Meanwhile, the Handbook for Digital Projects contains a section on digital longevity, which is not covered in Digitizing Collections. Yes, there are other differences...which is why I'm glad that I'm using both (as well as myriad of other readings)!

Digitizing Collections is divided into two parts: Strategic decision making and Digitizing collections. While I might not have ordered the chapters in the same way, it works for Hughes and for readers of the text. (For example, I think project funding should be covered before Chapter 6.) The text is very readable. Hughes does a wonderful job pulling information together and presenting the topics in a way that will make sense to anyone. However, as Melissa Terras wrote in her review,"There is little that is remarkably new here", but that is okay.

By the way, the book does include a 14-page bibliography, which many will find useful.

Digitizing Collections was published in the U.K. The language is mostly American English, but there are places were I see British English, as if the conversion from one to the other was not done completely. To me, this is a minor flaw and perhaps something that will be fixed in the next edition.

Bottom line - this books gets a thumbs up!

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1 comment:

K Landon said...

If only there was a cheaper (paperback) version of this. $85 seems awfully expensive -- off to the library I go.