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How To Digitize Your Sources (DIY)

A library guide to DIY tools and resources for digitizing sources in preparation for digital scholarship.

About this Guide

This guide gives an overview of resources available in Howard-Tilton Memorial Library to help you digitize sources during the curation process of a digital scholarship project. This will include the use of different scanners and OCR software to convert your digital data to searchable, editable text. This knowledge can support you in the creation, discovery and transfer of quality research.

Get Started

When beginning digitization the first step is usually scanning the original document or image. This will create a digital image (PDF, JPEG, etc.) that can be saved, emailed or edited in software.

When scanning a photo or drawing your main focus will be getting a high-quality digital image. When scanning textual documents you may want to use additional software (OCR) to extract the text from your image so that you can manipulate or search the text within the document.

Digitzation is possible for nearly every format and medium available in Howard-Tilton, from maps to manuscripts, and microfilm. This can really open up the possibilities of what you can do with your digital scholarship project and means more access to unique materials.

For example, if you were doing a research project on the Bush administration (1989-1993) you could explore Howard-Tilton's Microfilm collection of The Bush administration and the AIDs crisis, 1989-1993. These records could be scanned into PDFs using the microform scanners on the 6th floor. A wealth of archival documents and historical newspapers are available on microfilm and microfiche.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.