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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Seminar in Archives and Records Management - Digitization and Digital Preservation
INFO 284

  • Spring 2023
  • Section 11
  • 3 Unit(s)
  • 01/25/2023 to 05/15/2023
  • Modified 05/22/2023

Canvas Information: Courses will be available January 25th, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Alyce Scott
Office Hours: email

Course Information

Class Virtual Meetings
During the course of the semester, there will be three (3) live training sessions for the CONTENTdm software, in Zoom. NOTE: Attendance at the live sessions is not mandatory, as they will be recorded.

Computer Access
Canvas will be the venue for class discussions, and assignments. You must have regular access to a computer to access course materials and online lectures. At least two assignments will involve working with image files. For this reason, you should have access to a computer with a reasonable network connection speed to download and complete the assignments.

Course Description and Requisites

This course will provide an introduction to the digitization of archival, library, and museum materials, as well as an introduction to the digital preservation of the resulting digital objects. Students will learn about using digital technologies to provide better access to and sometimes to preserve text, images, sound, and video. [Please note: the majority of the course will focus on the digitization of text and image because of the nature of this class and equipment requirements.] Particular topics to be explored in-depth include: selection for digitization, legal and copyright issues, digitization requirements for text and images, metadata, and technology issues. The course will provide a broad foundation of the principles, processes, and standards guiding the digitization of cultural heritage materials.


INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Classroom Protocols


Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

Program Information

Course Workload

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group; contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Goals

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes) Supported

INFO 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  2. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the fundamental differences between digitization and digital preservation.
  2. Select materials for digitization, and provide sound justification for their decisions.
  3. Select and apply appropriate standards and practices depending on the type of material and the objective of a particular digitization project.
  4. Describe the role and types of metadata used to describe, manage, and provide access to digital materials.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the technology issues surrounding digitization, including appropriate conversion devices, delivery systems, and digital preservation.
  6. Plan and manage a digitization project from design through delivery.
  7. Create a digital collection, addressing budget, selection, digitization, metadata creation, management, and digital preservation.

Course Materials


No Textbooks For This Course.

Course Requirements and Assignments

  • Copyright Assignment
    Understanding copyright is very important to a digitization project. A project must abide by the rules or face possible litigation. For each item on the list, discuss whether or not the item(s) can be digitized and why. Cite appropriate copyright laws, rulings, or guidelines you use in making your decision. In the event that a definitive answer cannot be determined, discuss the ambiguities, why you believe the intellectual property rights to be unclear, and the decision you would advise your institution to make in whether or not to proceed with digitizing the item. Discuss possible implications of digitizing the item and making it available anyway.
  • Benchmarking Assignment
    Using images provided by the instructor, you will determine scanning requirements for the documents, completing the worksheet found on the course site. You will also inspect images aspects (compression, artifacts, etc) and create a few derivative images using the latest version of Adobe Photoshop. Alternate software (e.g. GIMP) can be used for this assignment, with the instructor's permission.
  • Project Planning Assignment
    For this assignment, you will be asked to plan a digitization project. You will evaluate a collection of your choice (that has not been previously digitized) and create a plan for the digitization of the collection. You will provide specific reasons for your recommendations based on the readings and lectures in this course.
  • Online Collection Assignment (group project)
    This assignment is meant to give you practical, hands-on experience building a small digital collection using OCLC’s CONTENTdm, an online digital media management system.
  • NOTE: You do not have to own a scanner, but you will need access to one as you will utilize images that you have scanned (from physical resources - digital photos will not be accepted) using information learned in this course.
  • NOTE: The downloadable version of the CONTENTdm Project Client software is only compatible with Windows OS (or Intel-based Macs capable of running Windows via Bootcamp or Parallels).

Assignment Requirements

  • Check the course site daily for announcements and discussion posts.
  • Submit assignments via Canvas, by 11:59 PM (PT) on the due date.
  • Late assignments are not accepted except in cases of serious illness or family emergency - or with the prior consent of the instructor. Late assignments will not be accepted after 5 days past the due date. Late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10% point reduction per day up to 5 days, based on the total point value of the assignment. No points will be awarded after 5 days late.
  • Discussion board posts will not be accepted for credit after the module's discussion has ended.
  • All course materials must be completed by the last day of class - incompletes will not be given.

Course Grading

Grading will be based on a total accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as follows:

Copyright Assignment (CLO 3, 7) 20 points
Benchmarking Assignment (CLO 4, 6) 15 points
Project Planning Assignment (CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) 25 points
Online collection (CLO 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) 25 points
Participation (Canvas discussion forums) (CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) 15 points

Grading Information

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100A
94 to 96A minus
91 to 93B plus
88 to 90B
85 to 87B minus
82 to 84C plus
79 to 81C
76 to 78C minus
73 to 75D plus
70 to 72D
67 to 69D minus
Below 67F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9 (PDF), relevant university policy concerning all courses, such as student responsibilities, academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. and available student services (e.g. learning assistance, counseling, and other resources) are listed on the Syllabus Information web page. Make sure to visit this page to review and be aware of these university policies and resources.

Course Schedule

Course Calendar - tentative (there may be changes made before the course begins - an expanded version will be available in Canvas)




Week 1: January 25-31

Perspectives on Digitization

  • Post your introduction on the Who Are You? (be sure to include your time zone) by January 27
  • By January 31: Create an account in WorldCat - directions are in the Online Collection Assignment module. [NOTE: if you already have a WorldCat account, you do not need to create a new one]
  • Send your WorldCat username to me

Week 2: February 1-7

Project Planning & Management

  • Topic 1 discussion begins

Week 3: February 8-14

Copyright & Rights Management

  • Online collection assignment task 1: Post the theme of your collection and your potential user groups(s) to the Online Collection - task 1 discussion by February 14

Week 4: February 15-21

Selecting Materials for Digitization

  • Topic 1 discussion ends - February 21

Week 5: February 22-February 28

Key Digitization Concepts

  • Online collection assignment task 2: Post your draft copyright statement for your collection to the Online Collection – task 2 discussion by February 28

Week 6: March 1-7

Conversion: Analog to Digital, Part 1

  • Copyright Assignment - due March 7
  • Download the CONTENTdm Project Client from the CONTENTdm User Support Center site (directions are in the Online Collection Assignment module)

Week 7: March 8-14

Conversion: Analog to Digital, Part 2

  • CONTENTdm training: 1st session (focus on: Administration) Date: Tuesday, March 14
  • Online collection assignment task 3: Post the type of materials you've selected to digitize to the Online Collection – task 3 discussion by March 14

Week 8: March 15-21

Conversion: Analog to Digital, Part 3

  • CONTENTdm training: 2nd session (focus: Project Client) Date: Tuesday, March 21
  • Benchmarking Assignment – due March 21

Week 9: March 22-28

Audio and Video Digitization

  • Nothing due this week
  • CONTENTdm training: 3rd session, (focus: Web Configuration Tool) Date: Tuesday, March 28


Spring Break: March 29-April 4


Week 10: April 5-11


  • Topic 2 discussion begins
  • Online collection assignment task 4: Post the draft metadata fields, and the names of any controlled vocabularies you've chosen to use to the Online Collection – task 4 discussion, by April 11

Week 11: April 12-18

Image Management Systems

  • Nothing due this week

Week 12: April 19-25


  • Topic 2 discussion ends April 25
  • Project Planning Assignment - due April 25

Week 13: April 26-May 2

Project Evaluation; Evaluating Costs; Working with Vendors

  • Nothing due this week

Week 14: May 3-9

Digital Preservation and Sustainability, Part 1

Topic 3 discussion begins

Week 15: May 10-15

Digital Preservation and Sustainability, Part 2

  • Online Collection Assignment – paper & presentation due May 13
  • Topic 3 discussion ends – May 13