This Toolkit is an outcome of the Culture in Transit project. It is intended to serve as a resource for other organizations interested in initiating mobile digitization services. All or parts of the Toolkit can be used and adapted as needed. Included in the Toolkit are resources for organizing and executing community engagement events; implementing and offering a mobile digitization service to small cultural heritage institutions; and providing advice, comment and considerations on equipment used for digitization, with emphasis on mobile digitization kits.
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Culture in Transit was a partnership between the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library to bring mobile scanning equipment to smaller libraries, archives, museums, and the communities they serve. It was one of 22 projects to win the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge on Libraries in 2014. The work fell into two main areas:
Community events (Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library): Mobile digitization kits were taken to library branches and other community spaces where local residents were invited to bring in family photos and memorabilia. Materials were scanned and returned to donors along with a flash drive of digital copies of their material. The digital copies were included in the libraries’ respective digital catalogs, and shared with the Digital Public Library of America.
Working with small cultural heritage institutions (METRO): Mobile digitization kits were taken to METRO member institutions across New York City and Westchester County to scan selected archival collections and make them available on METRO’s digital platform, DCMNY and in the Digital Public Library of America. The service was designed to assist smaller cultural heritage institutions who had either undertaken none or very little digitization of their collections and who did not have adequate resources to do the work in house.
The information and all resources in this Toolkit are licensed under a CC0 1.0 license.
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