Преглед НЦД 22 (2013), 93–103



Alenka Kavčič-Čolić

National and University Library, Ljubljana, Slovenia





Abstract: The European Commission has been supporting the digitisation of cultural heritage for more than 10 years. As result, Europeana, the joint portal of European libraries, has already overpassed 20 million digital objects. Many funds have been invested in different national and international digitisation projects; their main concern was to provide public access to different types of content. Most libraries still conceive digitisation as a digital reproduction aimed to provide access to library materials only. The master files resulted from digitisation are usually not digitally preserved and the digital collections run the risk of being lost for the future. This is even more worrying since digitisation, especially of old library materials, is a very expensive task and it is very probably that we will not be able to repeat the scanning process for some time. For this reason, the produced digital collections should be treated as an important asset to the library.

In this paper, the importance of preserving the digitisation master files or, using Conwell’s terminology, to “digitise for preservation”, by introducing digital preservation methods usually applied on digitally born materials will be discussed. Arising from the digitisation experiences of the National and University Library in the European projects EOD and IMPACT, we had discussed the need to change the approach to digitisation and start producing digital master files that would satisfy the requirements for digital preservation. We will focus on the most decisive elements that have influence on extending digital master files life cycle, i.e. digitisation project planning, digitisation tools, quality of the image and metadata needed to preserve the master files.


Keywords: digitisation, digital preservation, digitisation planning, digitisation projects