January 18, 2022

Michigan State University: "Library Digitizes to Widen Availability"

From an Article Appearing in The State News (Student Run Paper):

What began as a project to digitize a collection of Chicago Tribune newspapers in 2009 has expanded to provide a resource of thousands of digitized pages of books and publications for MSU Libraries.

The purchase of an advanced scanner jump-started the process of digitization at MSU, said Shawn Nicholson, head of the Digital and Multimedia Center and assistant director of the Digital Information Division of MSU libraries.

Before the DigiBook SupraScan A0 overhead planetary scanner was bought, library administrators deliberated for months choosing the equipment, which cost about $130,000. A grant from the McCormick Foundation to MSU’s School of Journalism funded the equipment that enabled staff members to scan about 12,000 images and 5,500 pages of the newspapers.

The scanner creates images of books and publications that can be edited digitally and published online. Documents are searchable through optical character recognition, which recognizes words in scanned documents, said John Shaw, assistant unit head and supervisor of the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library and the Digital and Multimedia Center.

The equipment is unique because of the quality of the images and its ability to scan large documents, Shaw said. Only a handful of other universities have access to similar equipment, he said.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.