In my last column on digitization in libraries, I found web resources that covered about the topic in general terms, stressing that careful planning and maintenance are necessary to ensure that digital collections remain accessible even as technology changes. Such cautions, while important, can also be paralyzing, preventing librarians from starting digitization projects as they agonize over not "getting it right." This month I thought it would be helpful to look at some digitization projects to learn from the work of our colleagues and to envision what we might do.
'Israel, Google to Digitize Dead Sea Scrolls'
Just as I was beginning to work on this column, Israel Antiquities Authority and Google announced that they are going to work together to provide online access to digital images and searchable text of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The first images in the collection, which will be free to all, are expected to be available within months.
Technical Report Archive & Image Library (TRAIL) Project Site
Most of the technical report literature has been available via the internet since about 1994. But legacy technical documents are not so readily available to researchers, existing only in print in the collections of research libraries. TRAIL, the Technical Report Archive & Image Library, is a Greater Western Library Alliance initiative whose participants include the University of Arizona, the Center for Research Libraries, and other interested institutions. Its mission is to "identify, digitize, archive, and provide persistent and unrestricted access to federal technical reports issued prior to 1975." The project was the 2010 recipient of the Documents to the People Award, sponsored by LexisNexis, GODORT, and ALA to honor people and groups that have "encouraged the use of government documents or information in support of library service." Libraries interested in contributing to this project are encouraged to email organizers. …