The first phase is to decide the relevance of digitizing and archiving the subject matter. If I can answer yes to any one of the questions 1-5, I will certainly digitize. Overall, I will digitize and archive about 90 percent of records/images. The 10 percent remaining are images that I have a better copy of, or in the case of a child’s activity where I have taken 25-plus images, choosing the top 10-20 percent and discarding the rest.
Barry Rating–Part 1: To Digitize or Not to Digitize
- Is the information that the picture, document, or artifact holds unique? Yes/No
- How significant is the source and context of the record? Yes/No
- How significant are the records for research (current and projected in the future)? Yes/No
- Do these documents help in finding other more permanent records? Yes/No
- Are these records related to other permanent records? Some records by themselves have limited value but when added to other records become very important to help tell a larger story. Yes/No
- Barry’s Rule of Thumb: Overall, I will digitize and archive about 90 percent of records/images. The 10 percent remaining are images that I have a better copy of, or in the case of a child’s activity where I have taken 25-plus images, I’ll choose the top 10-20 percent and discard the rest.
The second filter is to categorize images and rank them between 1 to 5 stars. Software image manager permits categorization and ranking of images.
0-4 Star rating system for prioritizing your preservation efforts:
Barry Rating–Part 2: Rating Images for Later Use
- Rare photographs of a person (no matter the quality).
- Primary record to prove or highlight religious or civil ordinances of family in the direct line.
- Best representation of a series of images from important events (e.g., family gathering).
- Annual one- of-a-kind family or individual photo (e.g., school photo).
- 3 Star
- Records that contain important information about a direct family line.
- For a family history story of ancestors in a direct line.
- Images that are the best representation of a series of images (e.g., family gathering or sports event).
- Records of collateral lines.
- Images of artifacts that were of importance from ancestors in direct line (e.g., scan of a watch).
- Photo-graph images of direct line that are similar to other images in categories 3 or 4.
- A series of images from published material (e.g., family history book).
- Images that have been gathered from other individuals and are still waiting to be named and sorted.
- Records or images that support existing records which help tell the story or build a timeline.
- For records that were used once in research.
- Extra photo shots of an event that are not needed to tell the story but nice to have, or those we are unable to delete.
- How do I start in understanding digital preservation?
- Why digitize?
- How long will media last?
- Regularly back up data to digitized archives