Selection Policies and Procedures
Our primary purpose is to serve the needs of the University of Alabama faculty. Secondarily, we seek to serve the needs of the UA students, and thirdly, we seek to serve the community at large.
In order to sustain our progress, we must also seek funding, and digitize material which will facilitate in obtaining the support needed to deliver content and services to our target audiences.
After considerations of topicality and particular content, we must consider copyright issues. Even though the owner may have donated the physical item, the right to digitize the object and make it freely available on the web is a separate issue. Much content must be turned aside because we are unable to obtain legal permission to digitize and provide open access.
Once a proposed collection meets our requirements for all the above considerations, we must then assess the digitization requirements. Equipment may be necessary which we do not own or cannot afford to purchase or host; digitization may require manhours far beyond our current capabilities. Funding for staffing is critical; funding for equipment is second, and funding for workspace is also needed.
Currently, we have the equipment necessary to digitize:
- unbound documents (such as letters) and photos;
- unbound books in good condition, if not oversized;
- a smaller quantity of bound documents, fragile documents, or oversized ones;
- slides and glass plate negatives; and
- cassette and reel-to-reel (1/4 inch) audio tapes.
Metadata is also a necessary part of digitization. Descriptive metadata will enable users to find the object via search and retrieval mechanisms; other kinds of metadata will be needed for preservation, administration, online delivery, and reuse. The creation of descriptive metadata generally takes 2/3 of the time needed for any digital project.