Project Planning


It is not necessary that you, as the owner of the collections you wish to digitize or as the director of a digitization project, be expert in any or all of the necessary project steps—digitization projects usually take a number of specialized staff members.  We strongly recommend that you contact Information Technology before you begin planning your project.  IT staff have extensive project experience and can help you avoid many predictable, common problems.  They also have resources (staff, scanners, software, cameras, etc.) to assist you, or they may suggest outsourcing and other options depending on your needs.
The manager (Bowdoin faculty or staff) of the digital collection should outline the scope of the project and provide a simple timeline for the work.  If large enough in scope, project management software may be helpful.  IT will help the collection manager flesh out the details of the project and ensure that system resources are available.  IT will also assist in the creation of initial file storage resources and a reliable backup system.

Planning Standards
Use of Basecamp, a powerful web-based project management tool is strongly recommended.  To set up your project, contact 
The plan should specify the following:
Who will acquire, process and catalog the images or videos
The approximate number of images or videos
Who will use the images or videos
How the images/videos will be accessed and by whom
How the collection will be searched and sorted
What copyright restrictions apply
How many hours the project will require
What hardware and software, (if any), needs to be purchased.


When creating a budget for a digitization project you will need to consider a number of factors.  There are costs associated with digitization that are not obvious, such as the purchase of an image or video, staff time in scanning or converting, editing and asset management, file storage space, hardware and software.  These costs are often spread out among a number of different departments.  Staff members in Information Technology can assist you in developing the budget.  It is clear from the data gathered from several pilot projects that it is less expensive overall to purchase rather than scan an image, and that the costs (indirect and direct) of video conversion argue for outsourced, rather than in-house conversion.

Budget Standards

  • Purchase of images – aproximatelyt $7.00 per image depending upon vendor
  • Purchase of videos - varies greatly, between $30.00-$200.00 per video (not including public performance rights), depending upon vendor/title
  • Hardware and software – contact IT
  • File storage – contact IT
  • Staff time – when digitizing an image you should plan on 20 minutes per image to scan, edit, and manage.  If you are not experienced at scanning or image editing, you should budget for 30 minutes per image.
  • Staff time - when beginning a video conversion project, you should consider that it can take up to 4 hours per 1 hour video to scan, edit and manage. Moreover, video conversion uses a significant amount of processing power and special equipment might be needed depending on the analog video format. For these reasons, we recommend investigating outsourcing options for video conversion projects. Consult with IT to identify reputable vendors or obtain recommendations or referrals.