What is digitisation?
Digitisation involves the conversion of an object, document or an image into electronic format. Digitisation is one means of converting an original, source record and is usually carried out through scanning or photographing the source record.
Records digitisation activities by Victorian government agencies include:
- Pre action conversion. Where source records are converted before they have been actioned by an officer of an agency. For example, the digitisation of paper records as they are opened in the mail-room.
- Post action conversion. Where source records are converted after they have been actioned by an officer of an agency. For example, back-file conversion of existing paper records.
See our presentation below for further information about digitisation.
There are increasing expectations upon agencies to implement digital systems, operations and service delivery to the fullest extent possible.
Digitisation can provide considerable benefits for agencies, including savings on storage, management and access close access Definition Refers either to the process of providing records for researchers to use in PROV reading rooms, or to the process of determining if records should or should not be withheld from researchers for a period of time. costs (particularly where the source record is disposed of), integration of records into Electronic Document Management Systems (EDRMS) and business systems, and preservation of historical records.
However, agencies should weigh up and carefully consider the intended outcomes of any potential digitisation projects. Digitisation is often an expensive and resource intensive exercise. In some cases disposal close disposal Definition A range of processes associated with implementing appraisal decisions which are documented in disposal authorities or other instruments. (including transfer of State archives close archives Definition Records considered to have continuing or permanent value that have been, or will be, transferred to the custody of an archival organisation; also used to refer to the buildings in which archival records are stored and to organisation that have responsibility for archival records. to PROV) may be a more strategic action to take on the records.
PROV requirements for digitisation
Most agencies digitise records with the intention to destroy the paper originals. However, before digitisation, let alone destruction, of public records occurs agencies must ensure they will comply with (Public Record Office Victoria) PROV specifications for digitisation. This includes a certification close certification Definition Formal authorisation from the Keeper of Public Records process.
See the following step-by-step guide for information about how to meet these requirements.