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Digitisation

What is digitisation?

Many different types of collection items can be digitised in some way. This includes items like cassette tapes and film, and even 3D objects.

This section is about the digitisation of document and photographic collections.

In this case, digitisation means copying a physical item and turning it into a digital image or photograph. The image can then be stored and used to create further copies for different purposes, including public access.

Types of digital item

You are likely to come across two types of digital items while managing your community archive: ‘born digital’ items and ‘digital surrogates’.

Born digital items

Born digital means that items are created digitally and exist in an electronic form. Examples of born digital objects include photographs taken with a digital camera, folders of email correspondence, reports written using word-processing software, and budget spreadsheets.

Digital surrogates

Digital surrogates (also known as ‘made digital’) are digital files created by digitally copying a physical item. Examples of digital surrogates include scans of printed photographs, letters or posters.

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