10. How should I use digitised assets?

Hopefully you began the process of digitisation by considering how you will use the digital copies you are creating. Getting them to your users, wherever they may be, is a vital part of the process.

If you’re planning a project and considering end use before you begin, the overview what does digitising collections involve? takes you to pathways for particular aspects of the process.

How do I keep track of  using my digital collection?

Your initial reason for digitisation may not be the only use for your digital assets, in the short- or long-term. For this reason, digitising to the highest archival standard possible is always a good idea, whatever use you currently have planned How do I digitise? has information on how to go about this. It is also important to ensure that you have cleared any rights associated with an item before you begin. What do I need to know about copyright and data protection? offers advice and guidance on this topic.

How will people discover my collection online?

Making your digital assets easier for online users to discover

  • JISC has a series of recently-updated guides on Making your digital collections easier to discover  [JISC, updated 2019]. They are written with universities in mind, but the broad advice applies to cultural heritage institutions too. The guide stresses the importance of metadata, licensing and using an application programming interface (API).
  • The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), provides standardised APIs (application programming interfaces) and support for describing and presenting images online. It is being increasingly used by cultural heritage institutions with access to the required technical skills.
  • Tate’s Archives & Access Toolkit [2017] includes a case study on supporting the discovery of digitised archive collections through online engagement called Publishing archive collections online.

Return to what does digitising collections involve?

Did you find this pathway useful? We’d love to hear your feedback or ideas. Please email info@culture24.org.uk