Is there a case for shared digitisation?

21 Mar 2019
11:00 - 11:30
Henry Wellcome Auditorium

Is there a case for shared digitisation?

As more libraries start to undertake the mass digitisation of general collections, there becomes the risk of duplicating digitisation effort of identical items, whilst also missing out on the cost savings that could be realised by taking a collaborative approach. Up until now, there has been very little data on the potential for shared digitisation within the RLUK membership. Without such data, it is hard to make the case for undertaking a large-scale initiative in this area.


This presentation will outline the results from a trial shared digitisation project undertaken by the National Library of Scotland (a Legal Deposit Library), Trinity College Dublin (a Legal Deposit Library and a University Library), and Edinburgh University Library (a University Library). The study, undertaken between October 2018 and March 2019, selected approximately 100 books published in the early twentieth century. In the first phase of the project, the overlap of collections was studied, along with the costs of gathering that data. The second phase will then be to take a shared approach to the digitisation and sharing of the digitised outputs.


This data can be used to analyse the potential of a larger-scale shared digitisation programme, with a better understanding of the costs involved.