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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Digitization Services Project Guide

Material selection and preparation

Creating your Inventory

Content provider will organize content and create an inventory of candidates for digitization. 

The inventory is used during digitization to track progress and is viewable by Content Providers.  This will be a means of keeping stakeholders up to date on project progress.

  • The inventory is used to identify objects and match them to the correct unique identifier or MMSID during digitization in the lab.
  • The lab cannot digitize and name files without the correct file names or ingest content into the repository until the metadata and inventory are reviewed and approved.
Administrative etadata required for digitization
Catalogued material      Archival material                                                  
  • Title
  • Author/Creator
  • Date
  • Call Number
  • Alma MMSID
  • Collection Name for Medusa/Digital Library  
  • Collection description Digital Library (if applicable).                        
  • Title
  • Creator
  • Date
  • Record Series or Collection Identification, Sub-Series, Box, Folder, Item
  • Collection Name for Medusa/Digital Library
  • Collection description for Digital Library (if applicable)

Catalogued Content Package Profiles, Directory Structure and File Naming Conventions

DS uses Alma MMSIDs to name digital objects for Medusa and the Digital Library.  

Compound object - object that contain more than one image.  Books, ;manuscripts, correspondence may be compound objects.  Photos, maps, posters, broadsides can also be compound objects.

  • 99160698512205899 (object level)
    • preservation (folder level)
      • 99160698512205899-00000001.tif (file level)
      • 99160698512205899-00000002.tif
    • access (folder level)
      • 99160698512205899-00000001.jp2 (file level)
      • 99160698512205899-00000002.jp2


Archival Content Package Profiles, Directory Structure and File Naming Conventions

For archival collections DS will assign a pre-generated unique identifier content providers create based on the structure of the archival collection.    

Compound object - object that contain more than one image.  Books, manuscripts, correspondence may be compound objects.  Photos, maps, posters, broadsides can also be compound objects.

  • recordseries#_subseries#_box#_folder#_item#_date# (object level)
    • preservation (folder)
      • rrecordseries#_subseries#_box#_folder#_item#_date#-001.tif (file level)
      • recordseries#_subseries#_box#_folder#_item#_date#-002.tif
    • access (folder)
      • recordseries#_subseries#_box#_folder#_item#_date#-001.jp2 (file level)
      • recordseries#_subseries#_box#_folder#_item#_date#-002.jp2


Record series or archival collections may not always contain sub-series, boxes, folders, items or dates.  When certain components are missing, content providers will use the available components. 

  • recordseries#_box#_folder# (object level)
    • preservation (folder)
      • recordseries#_box#_folder#-001.tif (file level)
      • recordseries#_box#_folder#002.tif
    • access (folder)
      • recordseries#_box#_folder#-001.jp2 (file level)
      • recordseries#_box#_folder#-002.jp2

File naming rules

  • No duplicate Unique Identifiers ANYWHERE in the collection
  • No special characters at all including dots, commas, slashes, ampersands, number signs
  • No spaces
  • Underscores separate rs, box, folder, item and date.  Please leave text in the file name in one string with no spaces or special characters
  • Dashes are used at the end of the files names to serialize files.  This is used to automate packaging for our repositories
  • ALL under case

Physical Object dropped off for digitization require the follow:

Archival Material

  • identifying record series, item titles, boxes, folders, item numbers on the object
  • This identifying info corresponds with metadata 

Catalogued Material

  • Barcodes on materials must match catalog records
  • Catalog records must be updated and correct.


Metadata Creation, Collection Description and Representative Image for the Digital Collection

If the content is hosted in the Digital Library, the metadata librarian will help content providers select descriptive elements and select or create a metadata profile for the collection. Once the appropriate profile is created,  Google sheet for the profile will be shared with the content provide. The content provider will populate the fields. 


Collection Description and Representative Image

The content provider will create a collection description for the Digital Library landing page. This description provides contextual information about the digital content in the collection to help users understand the theme or purpose of the collection. This should be completed before digitization and shared in the metadata template. Consider the following when authoring your description

  • Define the scope of the digital collection within the larger context of other materials in the physical l collection. 
  • What materials were selected for the digital collection?
  • Note important items in the collection.
  • Provide acquisition information or original of material.
  • Note important dates in the collection. 
  • Provide links or info about various iterations of the material available? 

Content providers will be asked to select an image to represent the collection on the landing page.  That can be done after the collection is available online.