Digitization Services



The Digital Library Production Service can transform original materials to digital format for you. We convert books, photographs, journal volumes, rare documents and artifacts into "digital objects." Our digitization services are available to support a variety of University Library projects.

DLPS staff will work with you to determine the best type of digital capture for a particular resource based on the nature of the original material and its potential use. Each staff member specializes in digitization methods appropriate to particular types of materials.

We can return digital files to you for your own purposes or work with you to determine what would be required to put them online using one of our standard information retrieval methods.

The major areas of digitization include:

Method / Product Process Suitable for...
Black & white (bitonal) and grayscale scanning

Produces Image files or pdf files
Flatbed scanning of disbound books or single-leaf documents for:
  • delivery on-line
  • OCR
  • keyboarding
  • monographs and journals
  • newspaper clippings
  • manuscript pages that are typescript or not visually distinctive enough to merit color scanning
Photographic & Digital Imaging

Produces high resolution digital images (tiff files)
Image capture with continuous tone (photographic), true color (24+ bit digital) or grayscale (8 bit digital) methods a 4x5 view camera, digital camera, high end professional film and flatbed scanners. photographs, illustrations, manuscripts, maps, artworks, negatives, transparencies, books that cannot be disbound, 3-dimensional materials of most shapes and sizes, specializing in rare materials such as papyrus, archeological artifacts and rare books.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

Produces text files
A program that converts digital images t text by interpreting characters. Output can be used uncorrected or edited.Text can then be Marked-up Searched Manipulated most monographs, journals, and other materials, printed in the Latin alphabet
Text encoding

Produces tagged ("marked up") text
The addition of SGML/XML tags to a text file in order t mark particular features of the text for navigation, retrieval, or distinctive display. The text file itself may have been produced by proofread OCR or by rekeying, or may have been acquired in electronic form. any material containing text and identifiable textual features worth searching, retrieving, or displaying Currently, we support text that is printed predominantly in the familiar Latin (i.e. general Western) alphabet, but hope t extend our support t other alphabets in the future.
Mono/stereo audio

Produces digital sound (aiff) files
16-bit digitization of spoken audio for: editing delivery on-line CD mastering Audio cassettes of spoken word recordings, including speeches interviews meetings

Sample projects

Some of our recent projects illustrate the variety of methods we employ. They include:

Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx?c=apis Digital camera
4 x 5 view camera and film scanner
Bentley Historical Library http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/i/image/image-idx?c=bhl Flatbed scanner
American Verse Project http://quod.lib.umich.edu/a/amverse/ OCR proofing
Text encoding
Middle English Dictionary http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/med/ Keyboarding
Text encoding
Making of America http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/ Bitonal scanning
Uncorrected OCR


Rates are established for estimating costs for externally funded projects. Methods of covering costs for unfunded projects depend on the nature of the project, but many University Library projects can be supported without cost recovery of any sort.

Contact information

We can be reached at dlps-digitization@umich.edu or 734-647-8000. Please leave some lead time, as your work will need to be scheduled. Information about scheduled work in our queue can be found at http://www.umdl.umich.edu/monthly/digit/currentcap.html.

cds, 10/20/00

Page maintained by Lara Unger
Last modified: 03/04/2013