Preservation, access and intellectual property rights challenges for libraries in the digital environment

2006-06-14T11:35:40Z (GMT) by Adrienne Muir
Increasingly libraries are acquiring, creating and managing information in digital form, as the electronic publishing industry continues to develop and librarians digitise their non-digital collections. There are various reasons for digitisation in libraries and archives, including improving access to collections generally, and particularly to unique, rare and fragile material. Another reason for digitising is to facilitate preservation through the creation of a surrogate and therefore reduce handling of originals. A particular example of improving access is the ability to digitise material from a variety of geographically dispersed collections and bring it together in a coherent digital resource. A recent worldwide survey (Bültmann et al 2005) of digitised resources indicated that manuscripts and images are the most frequently digitised type of material in libraries, although other types of material, including artefacts, have also been digitised. Librarians are digitising collections in individual institutions, but are also working with other libraries and knowledge institutions, such as museums. A more recent development is the partnership arrangements Google has with a number of major libraries to scan their collections, include them in “Google Book Search and, like a card catalog, show users information about the book plus a few snippets – a few sentences of their search term in context” (Google 2006).