This piece of work reflects on the state of digitization at the Eritrean Research and Documentation Centre (ERDC) which manages several valuable heritage collections. The purpose of the research was to evaluate the current selection process followed when digitizing these collections and to advise on the sustainability of a digitization programme. The recommendations captured as part of the research will be used to prepare a digitization policy as well as to develop essential guidelines and manuals necessary at the start of a sustainable digitization initiative.
The research followed a qualitative approach and a case study research design was adopted. A thorough literature study was conducted to identify appropriate procedures for digitizing valuable collections, the associated challenges and to find solutions to these problems. The core purpose of the literature was to inform the research on how an institution can sustainably digitize its collections. In-depth interviews were then conducted with ERDC managers and the current operations staff. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from the ERDC employees. Seven managers and operations staff of the digitization program were purposively selected for interviews. During the interviews the following were addressed: the policy, selection criteria, processes, challenges and solutions for digitization constraints. The main goal of the interviews was to understand the current digitization progress at the ERDC and to then compare these findings with the available literature. The research data were analysed to identify themes/ related issues that would need to be addressed. These themes were used to develop recommendations to share with ERDC.
The recommendations specifically address the digitization policy, critical challenges, required resources, selection issues, standards and formats, workflow, quality control, access to users and evaluation of the digitization programme.
Mini Dissertation (MIT)--University of Pretoria, 2016.