Digitization

York University Libraries digitization policy
York University Libraries has a mandate to digitize its own unique holdings (i.e. archival donations, special collections, library holdings of unique publications and projects directly involving York’s students, staff and faculty). The Toronto Telegram photographic collection is an example of such a collection. Held by the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, it remains a priority due to its unique documentation of Toronto life in the twentieth century, and its deterioration due to advanced vinegar syndrome of many content. Due to the depth and breadth of our holdings in need of digitization, the Libraries are unable to accommodate external digitization requests, and are unable to function as a digitization centre. Special provisions are made to digitize archival holdings, subject to fees, staff availability and copyright clearance. For more information contact: archives@yorku.ca

Digitization at York University
To our knowledge, there is no central digitization centre or service at York University. Some labs contain flat-bed scanners that can be used by students, staff and faculty. We have attempted to compile a list of digitization equipment known to us on campus, but this is by no means exhaustive. Some faculties manage hardware and software for their members, and this may be an ideal place to begin a line of further inquiry.

Digitization Operations at York University Libraries Equipment:

  • Epson 10000XL flatbed scanners with transparency attachments
  • Canon scanner
  • 1″ video tape machine
  • 1/4″ audio reel-to-reel machines (TASCAM 32, TEAC x300R)
  • SAMMA Solo digitization unit for the digitization of VHS, 3/4″ Umatic tapes

Standards:
York University Libraries digitizes and preserves material based on international standards, shared professional practice and consortial policies. For details, see our Digitization Best Practices, as well as our Digital Preservation Action Plans for imagesaudio, video and web sites.

Digitization services beyond York University
York University Libraries does not have the in-house expertise, staffing or resources to digitize all major formats.  For obscure formats or particularly complex digitization, we rely on third party vendors. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but is intended to showcase the need to carefully tailor a vendor’s offerings to the format of the item(s) that one wishes to digitize.

All-in-one digitization service:

Books, paper-based documents:

Microfilm, microfiche, microtext

Film and video

Sound

Hosting and display of digital objects