What is Digitization?
Synonymous to image capture through scanning and photography,
digitization is transforming data, information, knowledge, or physical
objects from various media into an electronic format. In this process, the
original is often represented as an image that can be displayed in various
formats. The images may be black and white, or color depending on the type
of equipment that is used.
Digitization is an important precursor for a variety of applications and
projects. Specifically, it increases the ease and efficiency of document
transmission in a number of ways. Images can be:
The use of digitization can help with the preservation of original manuscripts. Many historical documents are so fragile that the slightest human contact can cause damage.
Through proper data storage, electronic data has unlimited lifespan. This also allows resources to be available for simultaneous review by any number of researchers.
Digitization has the
potential to change the way scholars and activists utilize historical
documents and essays.
Today access to most rare historical documents is quite difficult because
of their wide spread distribution throughout the region. Many such
collections are still not catalogued or replicated, or simply remain
unknown. This is primarily due to lack of interest, means, and knowledge for
these artifacts. Often stored in poor conditions, these precious articles
are prone to irreparable damage. The handling of originals establishes risk
for permanent loss, because no duplicates exist.
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