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The Scan Plan: Our Strategy to Digitize the Vast Holdings of the National Archives

The National Archives’ Strategic Plan includes a simple, but audacious initiative: to digitize our analog records & make them available for online public access. We have over 12 billion pages of records, so yes, this is our moon shot.

To achieve this goal, we know we need to think in radically new ways about our processes, & we have started by creating a new digitization strategy.  From the time we published our 2008 digitization strategy through today, we have scanned over 230 million objects.  This is a huge number, but we have a long road ahead.  Our new strategy pushes us further.

Scanning technique demonstrated by Mattie Woodford
Scanning technique demonstrated by Mattie Woodford, Powell Group film scanner, taken April 1961. National Archives Identifier 7665735.

We know we cannot do all of this by ourselves. We will continue to collaborate and build on efforts with private & public organizations to digitize records, as well as branch out to citizen archivists, other federal agencies & institutions world. We will develop clear processes & technologies to support a workflow from staff digitization efforts, as well as ensure that records arriving at NARA are accompanied by standardized metadata, & make them available online in a shorter period of time.

We will set measures & track progress for each of these approaches, because we believe we can make digital access happen & we will hold ourselves accountable for doing so. Take a look at the full strategy & tell us what else we need to know: digitization@nara.gov.

Source: aotus.blogs.archives.gov

Updated: October 9, 2014 — 6:30 pm

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