Digital Archiving Resources

Strategies for Building Digitized Collections


Strategies for Building Digitized Collections




Abby Smith combines the collective experiences of digital library staffs over the past decade as she analyzes and reviews selected practices, identifies selection policies and best practices, and discusses long-term implications of the opportunities and constraints that shape the digital library collections of “first-generation” digital libraries. First generation refers to libraries that “have been engaged in significant digitization for a while.” However, she did analyze a few libraries that were just beginning to develop their own digitization programs. Her purpose was to look at libraries and complete an analysis of significant achievements that made it possible to identify good practices and benchmarks for success. In her conclusion, she explains that libraries need a clear sense of how a digital project fits their mission. One of the elements Smith examines is cost, since many libraries need funding to cover digital costs; however, she contends that there are numerous benefits, such as the amount of knowledge gained by staff about their own collections and those of other colleges, the protection of materials while increasing the access to the content, and the satisfaction of the patrons. In looking to the future, Smith believes digitization must clearly be an integral part of the core mission of the library who chooses these projects, and many factors remain for libraries to consider, such as the development of technical specifications, the management of storage, and the discovery of outside finds, and the need to discover how digitization will add value to source material.


Smith, Abby


Digital Library Federation and Council on Library and Information Resources Reports






Bibliographic Citation

Smith, Abby. "Strategies for Building Digitized Collections." Digital Library Federation and Council on Library and Information Resources Reports, September 2001. Accessed February 1, 2012.




Smith, Abby , “Strategies for Building Digitized Collections,” Digital Archiving Resources, accessed May 22, 2018,