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The road to digital: building unique Afghanistan collections

Yan Han (The University of Arizona Libraries, Tucson, Arizona, USA)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 16 February 2010

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to discuss a grant‐funded digitization project for unique Afghanistan gray literature. It aims to address the digitization tasks, workflow, challenges, and solutions. Persistent identifiers, file‐naming conventions, page‐naming rules, and a digitization management system are discussed in detail since they were critical to the success of the project.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes the unique requirements of the project, and analyzes difficult issues related to the separation of pre‐digitization and post‐digitization in two remote locations. The approach includes persistent identifiers, file‐naming rules, page‐naming conventions and a digitization management system. After one and a half years of operation, the approach has been effective and efficient.

Findings

The paper analyzes the unique challenges for a long‐distance collaboration on digitization. Pre‐digitization and digital imaging were carried out in Kabul, Afghanistan, with all the physical materials located there, while post‐digitization and quality control were performed in Tucson, Arizona. The paper found that several components such as persistent identifiers, file‐naming conventions, page‐naming rules, and digitization management system were critical to the success of the project.

Practical implications

The project demonstrates an approach to address a unique digitization project due to the separation of pre‐digitization and post‐digitization. In addition, the approach has served other digitization projects well.

Originality/value

The paper was written for both project managers and technical staff. Project managers can find out the usefulness of a digitization management system and understand digitization issues; while technical staff can find interests in a persistent identifier scheme, file‐naming conventions and page‐naming rules.

Keywords

Citation

Han, Y. (2010), "The road to digital: building unique Afghanistan collections", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 46-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650751011018509

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited