Creating and Managing Digital Content Creating and Managing Digital Content

Capture Your Collections

Small Museum Version


 Contents  Course Resources

Click to see image credit.Welcome to the Small Museum version of the "Capture Your Collections" training course. This new online training course has been specially designed to help volunteers, curators and managers working in regional, local and specialist museums, to better manage the process of image digitization. The course has been developed collaboratively by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) and Australian Museums & Galleries Online (AMOL). This collaboration has evolved from an understanding that small museums and galleries, in both countries, face many similar management, technology, training and funding challenges.

Click to see image credit.The online course is divided into 9 modules each of which will take between 15 minutes and two hours to complete. Ideally these modules and their exercises should be undertaken one at a time, over a period of a week or two. You can if you wish study the modules consecutively in the order provided, or retrieve them individually. You can also use the course planner in the resources section which will suggest appropriate modules to you depending on your particular needs. In addition to these modules, the course includes a glossary, relevant links page, bibliography and discussion forum where you can share ideas or pose questions to a number of experts and colleagues. Because standards, technologies and best practice are all constantly evolving, the course will be updated from time to time, however if you have any suggestions, comments or criticisms please feel free to forward these to or

Click to see image creditWe hope that those who complete the course will be able to:

  • Gain the knowledge to manage the digitization process from beginning to end
  • Assess and define the needs of your particular project
  • Evaluate digitization options
  • Select strategies which best meet your museum’s current and future needs
  • Acquire the knowledge to select material for digitization and provide sound justifications for your decisions
  • Understand the legal issues surrounding digitization of museum collections
  • Be aware of the factors to consider when determining the costs of digitization projects
  • Be aware of the steps and issues involved with collecting, documenting, processing and storing digitized images on computers and accessing images from them
  • Be familiar with the methods and options available for digitizing images and their strengths and weaknesses.

We hope you find the course interesting and informative and wish you success with your image digitization project.

Course Contents

This module welcomes you to the course and lists the course contents and resources.

Click to see image credit.

This module will explain:

  • What digital images are
  • Why you should consider digitizing your collection
  • The benefits of digitizing your collection.

One of the most challenging sections of this course, this module will enable you to understand crucial technical terms and functions such as:

  • What makes up a digital image
  • What the various types of images are and how they differ from each other
  • What file compression is
  • What digitization equipment and resolution is appropriate for different collection items

This module enables you to examine the resources needed and costs associated with a digitization project, including:

  • The variety of potential costs you should consider
  • The benefits and pitfalls of in-house vs contracting out services
  • Who to contact for financial assistance for digitization projects.

Legal issues
This module will introduce you to the legal matters involved in a digitization project. You will explore:

  • How Canadian and Australian copyright legislation affects digitization projects
  • How to go about attaining copyright clearance
  • What "Rules of Use" are
  • What is digital watermarking.

Click to see image credit.Standards and Guidelines
This module will explain basic digitization standards and guidelines and give you a good understanding of their importance:

  • What kinds of data or 'metadata' are required to optimize access and use of digital images
  • Image documentation types and standards
  • Image quality standards and guidelines
  • Preservation and storage standards and guidelines.

This module enables you to determine the time, human resources and planning issues involved in a digitization project. You will explore:

  • What resources a digitization project requires
  • What you need to consider before beginning a digitization project
  • How to determine priorities for digitization
  • How digital images can be used
  • What images and formats you can use
  • What occupational health and safety issues you should consider.

Getting started
This module will provide the background for you to begin to understand:

  • The benefits and disadvantages of film photography vs digital photography
  • How a scanner works
  • How to choose a scanner and printer
  • How to manipulate a digitized image
  • What equipment is available and what equipment is needed for different projects.

Managing images
Click to see image credit.This module will give you the background to manage, store, conserve and preserve your images:

  • The use of master images
  • The use of surrogate images
  • The importance of storage devices and media.

Course Resources

Course Planner
This resource suggests paths for you to take through the course, depending on what type of digitization project you are undertaking.


A selection of exercises to assist you in your planning for a digitization project.

Relevant links
Links to websites with further information on topics relevant to the course.


Some of the questions you may ask, with links to appropriate sections of the course.

Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) Logo Date Published: 2002-04-27
Last Modified: 2008-09-05
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