Information Studies


INSTG063: Introduction to Digitisation

This module will serve as a practice-led introduction to the digitisation of cultural and heritage materials in the library, archive, museums and galleries sector. It is an advanced level module taught in two ways: theory and principle led lectures and tutorials, and hands on sessions in the computer lab and in the UCLDH Multi-modal digitisation suite (a custom built space for teaching and researching digitization at UCL). This module will also involve close liaison with UCL Museums and Collections, UCL Library Special Collections, and UCL Media Services to provide practical hands on teaching to understand the technical underpinnings but practical application of digitisation in the cultural and heritage sector.

Subjects to be covered include:
• Principles of digitisation
• Handling of objects and documents
• Digitisation studio set up
• Metadata and object information
• Use and Usability of digitised content
• 2D versus 3D digitisation
• Funding and costs
• The digitisation lifecycle – from institutional store to digital repository
• Best practice in digitisation

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Assess objects for digitisation, and understand handling conditions
2. Undertake 2D digitisation of archival material (using SLR and scanner) using best practice principles
3. Be aware of the various 2D and 3D technologies available for digitisation in the cultural and heritage sector
4. Understand the technical underpinnings of digitisation, including capture methods, file formats, compression methods, etc.
5. Understand metadata and preservation issues related to digitisation
6. Understand how and why digitisation technologies have been employed throughout the GLAM sector
7. Understand the technological and financial frameworks which have encouraged the uptake of digitisation
8. Have an awareness of the complete digitisation life cycle, from transportation of object from store, to deposit of digital surrogates in institutional repository (and beyond)
9. Be familiar with key technologies: both hardware and software.

Each teaching session consists of a lecture plus at least one other session, which may be a practical, guest lecture, or visit to a resource.

Assessment: Assessment by coursework only. A group digitisation project plus written commentary, and individual reflection essay.

Compulsory for: No students

Optional for: numbers will be limited to 20 students with priority given to those on the MA/MSc in Digital Humanities followed by other DIS students, if numbers allow.

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this module.

Taught by: Kathryn Piquette


  • Friday 10:00 to 13:00 in Term one

Further information for students currently taking this module