Digitizing Entire Collections: Chapter 6, Scanning Representative Images from Processed Collections

When a finding aid has been completed, please select at least one “representative image” for the collection and optionally 5-10 additional documents for item level scanning. This is requested for all final processed collections, even those that are scheduled for complete digitization. These scans will be individually cataloged for the DCD and the website’s Image Gallery interface. The only exceptions are materials that are access or publication restricted. See steps below for guidance.

The representative image will eventually be incorporated on the main page of each finding aid, and may also be used in associated website news or collection pages, a newsletter, Director’s report, etc.

The archivist decides what best represents the collection. In general, a photograph of the creator will be used when available for personal papers. A likely choice for a representative image for gallery records would be a photograph of an exhibition installation, gallery owner, or the cover of a catalog for a prominent or important exhibit. The representative image must come from the collection the finding aid represents. If existing DCD images will suffice and are truly representative of the collection, then simply go into the DCD and select one as the representative image.

Optionally, 5-10 additional images may be chosen that reflect either a cross-section of materials or a special focus. The archivist may decide what and how many to include. More than ten images are an option if the items are significant. Scanning documents that are in poor condition for purposes of preservation are also encouraged at this time.

Removal Notice Workflow

  • Before removal:

On AAA’s intranet site, verify that item has not been scanned.

If web display is desired, verify that no publication or access restrictions apply to the document.

  • Complete the Removal Notice form in the DCD.

On the first tab of the form, choose the purpose of the removal– Archivist/Processing Requirement.

On the second tab, choose the collection from which you are removing items. A list of items from that collection that have already been scanned will appear. If the item has never been digitized, select “New Item”.

Enter descriptive information about the item. If the collection has just been processed, location information may not be available. Enter the box and folder information into the internal note. The following fields are mandatory: title, general format, specific format, extent #, extent type, dimensions, display date, search date, item restriction status, item copyright status, and cataloging approval. (See S:/Robin/DCD Policies.doc for detailed guidance.)

On the digitization instructions tab, record any special requests for scanning.

On the last tab select the date the item should be returned to you, typically three weeks after removal, and click finish. Print three copies of the completed online removal notice.

For the item selected by the processing archivist to be the representative image, enter the statement into the internal note for the cataloger: Set as representative image.

  • Remove physical document from collection. Photocopy the document(s) removed and staple the photocopy to the removal notice form. Place one set in the appropriate folder exactly marking the location of the original document. It should be upright so it is obvious when the box lid is opened. The second set will go in a folder with the item. The third set is for your records.
  • Bring the documents to the digital imaging technician for scanning. Record the item numbers and due date in the digital imaging technician’s notebook when you drop off the items. Place folder in vertical sorters. The digital imaging technician will create a master tif file and create and send derivatives to the web for internal review. He will return the documents to the remover of the item.
  • Processor will review the imagesContact the digital imaging technician or the digital asset manager with data concerns.
  • Replace the document(s) in the collection and take out removal notices. Place those removal notices in the registrar’s INACTIVE holder. The registrar will compare the removal notice(s) in the INACTIVE holder to those created online and mark items as returned in the DCD.
  • The item cataloger will review and finalize the cataloging submitted in the removal notice.
  • The item cataloger will refine cataloging in the DCD. Working from the digital file, the item cataloger will review and finalize the cataloging submitted in the removal notice. Also, the image designated in the internal note as the collection representative image will be assigned.
  • The processing archivist will check the homepage of the finding aid or Collections Online homepage  to ensure that the representative image and any links to an image gallery are there.