From The Boston Globe:
The [US Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts] facility is among 200 libraries, museums, schools, historical societies, and other institutions across Massachusetts that are using the services of the Boston Public Library to photograph, digitize, and post images to Digital Commonwealth, the state’s Newton-based consolidated online library, according to the BPL’s digital projects manager, Tom Blake. The process is free for public institutions, while private entities pay a fee for using it.
Launched three years ago with about $1.1 million in state and federal funding, the program has digitized more than 62,000 items from the Boston Public Library’s holdings and 105,000 items from elsewhere in Massachusetts, using a state-of-the-art $500,000 lab at the library’s central facility in Copley Square, Blake said.
We keep a lot of the delicate stuff locked up, not because we don’t want people to see it but in order to protect it,” said Michelle Poor, head technical services librarian at the Brockton Public Library. “If it’s on paper, it’s difficult to handle. Digitizing material makes that item available, and nobody has to touch it. If it is part of a very old book that is very valuable, people will be able to read it.”
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