Here’s our first – and certainly not the last – on this subject as it assumes importance on a global scale.

Digitization.  Its meaning?

From Wikipedia: Digital preservation in its most basic form is a series of activities maintaining access to digital materials over time. Digitization in this sense is a means of creating digital surrogates of analog materials such as books, newspapers, microfilm and videotapes. Digitization can provide a means of preserving the content of the materials by creating an accessible facsimile of the object in order to put less strain on already fragile originals.

As they say, ‘Old is Gold’. While searching for articles on the above, we came across this excellent write-up – dated May 2001 – on the subject of digitization in the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign website.

It addresses questions such as what & why of digitization, who does the digitization & who owns it in terms of copyright.

On one hand, digitization appears as the solution to the preservation of precious works of literature & art that are in danger of being lost.  On the other hand, digitization is raising hackles with many the world over with its implications.

France’s President Sarkozy has said recently that he wouldn’t “let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is.”  The unspoken company was none other than: Google.

……. to be continued