McMillan Memorial Library digitisation

What does it look like to digitize 21,000 documents in 6 months? In 2020 we partnered with @TheBookBunk as digitization advisors in their project to digitize the rare archives of the McMillan library.

This project was supported by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund which supports efforts to protect cultural heritage. In 2020, the Fund awarded funding to five global heritage projects, which will use technology, skills development, and community engagement to respond to the risk of climate change to heritage in East Africa. Projects selected as part of the Cultural Protection Fund’s Disaster and Climate Change Mitigation round (including ours) will address the threat to valuable cultural heritage in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by increasing capacity and resilience through risk planning, training programmes and digital innovation. We started off by training Book Bunk interns and library staff in October 2020.

One of our first activities was to quantify the collection and create a road map for all the activities that would take place from digitization – dissemination.

Halfway through the project, we carried out a mid-line digitization workshop to assess the digitization workflow.

The workshop looked at quality of data produced, challenges experienced by the team and areas that needed improvement.

At the end of the project, we co-hosted a wonderful session with Book Bunk on…

How to digitize your personal archives

As with any digitization project, there were unforeseen challenges but we made changes to suit the environment, records and resources we were working with. PS: And we had fun sharing our process along the way.

These records which range from photographs to government ordinances will soon be made publicly accessible via a dedicated online portal. View the records here

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