Once you have prepared the item you are ready to capture an image of it and save it as a digital file. If you have more than one copy of an item choose the best version for digitisation.
Make a list of the camera settings and add them to your digitisation plan, so the same settings are used now and in future projects. There are a several settings to think about:
It's a good idea to take the photographs in the same order as the documents are kept. This is because when you transfer them to your computer they'll be numbered in sequence.
Digital cameras contain a removable memory card which can to store hundreds of digital photos. The cameras are either wi-fi enabled or come with a USB lead to transfer photos from the camera to a computer. Install the camera’s software on your computer and transfer the photographs from the camera’s memory card as soon as you can. Always check you have transferred over all the images, in the order they were taken.
Camera software usually lets you create a unique file name for each of your photos. Make sure the numbering system you use ties in with the archive’s reference number for the physical document. An easy method is to add a sequence of numbers at the end of each image's reference number.
For example, you digitise a notebook in the Helen Smith Archive, reference number HS/1/3. It contains 12 pages, so when you photograph it you label each photo HS-1-3_001, HS-1-3_002 and so on, until the last page HS-1-3_012. (You can't include the 'slash' symbol in a file name.)
If you photograph large items using more than one image, you'll need to create a way of numbering the image for each part of the item. For example, _001 for top left, _002 for top right, _003 for bottom left, _004 for bottom right.
Metadata is information that tells you about a digital item. (It literally means data about data.) For example, with a digital photograph, the metadata tells us the date and time the photograph was taken, the image size and resolution.
It is important to record this information in your catalogue.
If you are digitising only for access purposes, this is the only metadata you need to record. If you are digitising collections for preservation and management (for example, photographing a collection that is on loan to you), it is a good idea to also record the following information in the catalogue:
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