Digitized Libraries and Newspapers – Knowledge within Reach

The National Digital Newspaper Program in the US recently awarded the University of Maryland Libraries a $250,000 grant to continue its efforts to digitize historical newspapers. With this grant, the institutions will digitize newspapers in the state for the period 1690 to 1963. Once digitized, students will be able to do keyword searches and locate the articles they wish to read easily by title or by publication date.

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Digital libraries and institutional repositories aim to preserve valuable works of science, literature and history, making them easily accessible. From manuscripts to research papers, images and monographs, a wide range of physically available content can be digitized, allowing for quick access and content retrieval through simple keyword searches.

Lately, historical content digitizing has garnered increased funding from both government as well as private entities. Using scanners, photo booths and sophisticated cataloging and indexing applications, content can be digitized with no loss. But the process isn’t as easy. A host of factors are considered before historical content is digitized. This includes:

  • Physical condition of the content
  • Value and demand of the content   
  • Intellectual Property Rights – more relevant to research papers and patent publications
  • Infrastructure availability and associated costs

Digitization is the first step. Then comes the need for content to be made ‘searchable’. This is done by introducing relevant and appropriate metadata for the digital content. Creating accurate metadata allows a researcher to search for the desired information using specific references including category, title, source, etc.

Cataloging is another important aspect of the digital library creation process. Accurate indexing and smooth browser workflow ensures that the user can easily locate the content which they can either download or stream as required.  Selecting the right cataloging systems depends on the nature and volume of content, and extent of content distribution required.

Content digitization and online dissemination is still nascent. Latest online publishing products and user-interface have the potential to change the landscape of libraries and content repositories as we know them.

Impelsys is a frontrunner in cutting-edge online publishing technology. From delivering online learning content to digital publishing solutions, we are a one-stop-shop for all digital content requirements. Find out more here.

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