Your collection is made up of an abundance of precious materials, use this checklist to help you select the right digitisation provider to manage it.
TownsWeb Archiving offer a complete suite of services dedicated to the digitisation of cultural heritage collections, liberating and safeguarding physical formats for public & private archives, cemeteries, special collections libraries & museums.
Working together to reach your digitisation goals.
Trusted By Archives
We understand the long-term risks to your archive.
A secure in-house service for your valuable material.
Your precious archive material is in safe hands.
Bound Volume Collections
Diaries & Minute Books
Journals & Magazines
Photograph Albums & Scrapbooks
Published Books & Thesis
Registers & Personnel Records
Blueprints & Technical Drawings
Maps, Plans & Posters
Reports & Letters (Loose Items)
Rolls & Parchment
Textiles & Wood
35mm Slides & Film Strips
Glass Plates & Lantern Slides
Negatives & Transparencies
X-Rays & Medical Slides
Audio Visual Collections
Compact Audio Cassette
Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
MiniDV, MiniDV Cam & DV Cam
Open Reel Tape (Audio ¼)
Reel Film (35mm, 16mm, 9.5mm and 8mm)
VHS & VHS-C (VHS-Compact)
2D Object Photography
3D Object Photography
3D Venue Capture & Virtual Tours
Frequently Asked Questions for Digitisation
One of the biggest challenges that holders of heritage collections face is the need to balance preservation of their delicate material with the need and desire to offer access to the valuable information it contains. Digitisation provides the ideal solution.
Digitisation converts physical content to digital format so that, if the item should ever be lost or destroyed, a copy is always retained. It also contributes to the preservation of items by allowing them to be accessed online and through a variety of technology without the need for physical handling. The metadata (data about the image) stored in a digital collection makes the items in that collection searchable using keywords or categories.
In addition, handwritten content from collections can be very difficult and slow to read. Digitising this written content through transcription, and converting it to digital text, makes it far more legible and easier to browse.
We use bespoke, specialist flatbed scanners, which place the absolute minimum of pressure, mitigating any chance of damaging the precious original materials during the digitisation process. We can scan any size in a variety of DPI and creating a variety of output formats. We will generally produce image files between 1200ppi and 4000ppi in TIFF and JPEG formats, although we can produce other file formats such as PDF, PDF/A, JPEG 2000, BMP etc. Images can be produced in full colour or greyscale and we can enhance or graphically restore them too.
All files are captured by our highly trained digitisation technicians using overhead, daylight balanced, non-heat producing lighting, before undergoing a formal quality assurance checking procedure. As specialists in digitising fragile archive collections, our scanning staff are fully trained in professional handling procedures for working with delicate material, employing a gentle, “white gloves” approach at all times.
No two heritage digitisation projects are the same, so with this in mind we tailor the resolution and file formats of the digital outputs we produce to meet the goals of each project we undertake.
We initially capture to RAW format and are able to capture in full colour or greyscale. From this original image we are then able to produce outputs in TIFF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, BMP and Adobe PDF file formats, either uncompressed or with compression applied.
As a standard we would normally digitise collections to produce outputs of high resolution uncompressed RGB Baseline master TIFF images, alongside lower resolution compressed surrogate JPEG files.
The resolution to which we capture varies dependent on the medium being digitised and the goals of the project. However, as a guide, we would ordinarily capture photographs at 600ppi (pixels per inch), 35mm slides at a minimum of 1200ppi, and books and other medium format items at 300ppi.
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when costing your digitisation project, such as:
- Scale of the collection
- Items needing to be removed from and returned to sleeves and albums
- Items being stuck together
Consequently, it’s impossible to give a definitive answer as to cost, but you can get a rough estimate using our digitisation calculator.
We do offer a secure collection and delivery service and this is something many of our clients request. Your material is registered in and out by our experienced drivers, and transported in secure, insured vehicles. Safe packing, handling and stacking procedures are always observed and we guarantee that your material never leaves our sight, being immediately placed under safe conditions upon arrival.
Related Articles & Services
Discover the most recent digitisation related news, as well as our many technical and informative articles
Introducing the next instalment of our Get Digitisation Ready eBook, make the digitisation process more accessible and helping you to safeguarded your collections.
After digitising three diverse collections for the University of Salford - Alexandra Mitchell tells us about their exciting plans for an accessible future!