Digitization offers significant opportunities for the preservation of library collections and provides many advantages over traditional reformatting techniques. Digital facsimiles of fragile material can be browsed easily and without disturbing the originals. In addition, access to digital files is significantly more convenient than access to conventional options such as microfilm.
Since 1995, the Preservation Department has worked with collection managers at Northwestern University Library to identify, prepare and scan selected primary resource material from a variety of collections.
In collaboration with staff in Bibliographic Services, IT, and Digital Collections, Preservation Department staff members also assist with metadata and web interface projects designed to improve access to library resources.
The current challenge is the development and maintenance of digital repository systems to address the preservation of newly created digital collections as well as the growing number of born digital assets being added to the collection each year.