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  • 1. Cheap, Quick, and Pretty: Mass Digitization of Large Manuscript Collections Jody L. DeRidder University of Alabama Libraries [email_address]

2. Outline

  • How difficult is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • How long does it take?
  • What does it cost?
  • How effective is it?
  • Whats missing?

3. How difficult is it? And sequence:1, 2, 3 Each file name includes: 4. What does it look like? (item) 5. What does it look like? (EAD) 6. What does it look like? (item outside Acumen) 7. How long does it take? Old method:8.25 min. / scan New method: 4.34 min. / scan Processing: reduced. QC: reduced.Metadata time: none. 47% LESS TIME! 8. What does it cost? Old method:$2.47 / scan New method: $0.80 /scan Processing: reduced. QC: reduced.Metadata costs: none. 68% CHEAPER!! 9. How effective is it?

  • Experienced researchers prefer it!
  • Those new to digital collections found it easier!
  • 42% less time
  • 27% fewer clicks
  • 12% more success
  • Foreign students found the terminology difficult.

10. We still need

  • Improved usability of EAD interface:
  • Terminology
  • Search in page
  • Navigation links
  • Then:
  • Establish learnability

11. Summary

  • Easy:put info in file names; run scripts
  • Looks:pretty darn good!
  • Time:4.34 min. / page
  • Cost:79.5 cents / page
  • Effectiveness:great forscholars;surprisinglygoodfor novices
  • Need:improved usability ofEAD interface

12. For More Information:

  • Upcoming American Archivist article??
  • Jody L. DeRidder, Leveraging EAD for Low-Cost Access to Digitized Collections at the University of Alabama Libraries, Journal of Library Innovation, 2:1 (2011),
  • University of Alabama Libraries, Septimus D. Cabaniss Papers Digitization Project.
  • Project Site:
  • Wiki:
  • Display:
  • University of Alabama Libraries, Acumen Digital Library Software. /

13. References

  • Experienced researchers prefer the finding aid interface:
  • Tim West, Kirill Fesenko, and Laura Clark Brown, Extending the Reach of Southern Sources: Proceeding to Large-Scale Digitization of Manuscript Collections, Final Grant Report for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,Southern Historical Collection, University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , June 2009,
  • Cory Nimer and J. Gordon Daines III, What Do You Mean It Doesnt Make Sense? Redesigning Finding Aids from the Users Perspective,Journal of Archival Organization6, no. 4 (2008),
  • Novice users experience a learning curve:
  • Wendy Scheir, First Entry: Report on a Qualitative Exploratory Study of Novice User Experience with Online Finding Aids,Journal of Archival Organization3, no. 4 (2006),
  • Joyce Celeste Chapman, Observing Users: An Empirical Analysis of User Interaction with Online Finding Aids,Journal of Archival Organization8, no. 1 (2010)