projectmanagementcollectiontechnologyfundingdigitalprojectsEllensburgGonzagaPort TownsendUWWSUscenarios

Washington State Library Digital Images Initiative
Pilot Test Grants

Library: Gonzaga University
Grant Number: G-2068
Address: Special Collections Department
Foley Library - Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA 99258-0001

Library Director: Eileen Bell-Garrison, Acting Dean
Project Manager: David Kingma, Archivist
Telephone: (509) 323-3814

Project Assumptions:

  • Technical and administrative assistance from Digital Images Initiative leadership would be competent and stable enough to resolve problems that could not be worked out at our local level. Result: Confirmed
  • Stable participation throughout the grant period from Gonzaga University personnel involved with the Digital Images Initiative Pilot Test. Result: Not Confirmed. The early departure of Tom Carter, Associate Dean, who initiated administrative oversight of the grant, added some inefficiency and uncertainty to our performance experience.
  • Grant-related financial resources would be adequate to support achievement of objectives. Result: Confirmed
  • Estimates of in-kind contributions, particularly of the project manager's time, would prove generally accurate. Result: Not confirmed. Our initial projection was tabulated at 80 total hours (est. $1300), whereas the actual total was approximately 114 hours (est. $1850)
  • Scanner hardware purchased through grant funding would be adequate for all grant-related needs and applications. Result: Not confirmed. Manuscripts with particularly faint or blurred text were rendered illegible when digitized with the Minolta PS 7000 within the designated file size parameters.

Project Description
Our project applied the objectives of the Digital Images Initiative to selected portions of the Jesuit Oregon Province Archives' Indian Languages Collection. In addition to their inherent historical value, these materials brought a unique testing dimension to the Initiative, namely, the logistical and technical challenges of digitizing fragile, bound documents with much internal variation in types of script, shades and colors of ink, and degrees of background to script contrast. A specialized, overhead scanning device was required to digitize some of these materials, to avoid damaging the original manuscripts and/or to capture entire content of their oversize pages.

a) "Hours spent preparing collections for scanning?"
Response: 13 hours, 5% of total
Comments: Most of this time was spent with selection of appropriate materials; very little document conservation or restoration was needed.
b) "Hours spent scanning the collection materials?"
Response: 106 hours, 41% of total
Comments: This figure includes the time spent with personal research and problem resolution, along with the time required for digital capture and editing processes.
c) "Hours spent indexing the scanned objects?"
Response: 87 hours, 33% of total
Comments: This figure includes the time spent with personal research and problem resolution, along with the time required for metadata entry and uploading processes.
d) "Hours spent training staff to do scanning and indexing?"
Response: 24 hours, 9% of total
Comments: This figure includes only the amount of time spent in direct staff cross-training interaction. If personal research and problem resolution time expenditures were to be included, then the approximate total would be 64 hours (25% of total), with commensurate reductions in time spent scanning (81 hours, 31% of total) and indexing (72 hours, 28% of total).
e) "Was the project budget adequate to do all the tasks?"
Response: No critical project goals were unmet because of an inadequate budget. However, unexpected hardware and software costs required Gonzaga University to contribute an additional $1095. Also, as mentioned in the Assumptions above, a budget shortfall for project staff compensation required an additional uncompensated time contribution from the project manager, roughly equivalent to $550.
f) "Greatest challenge in project management?"
Response: I found that I could not easily integrate the project requirements into my schedule at a steady, but modest level of activity. Rather, the challenges of learning new skills encouraged a pattern of intensely focused project-related activity followed by periods of inactivity, which were needed to address the backlog in my primary job functions.
g) "Greatest challenge in handling and managing the collections?"
Response: Since we chose to digitize fragile materials, we were continually challenged to maintain a sense of vigilance over their care while in use for the project.
h) "Greatest challenge in training staff?"
Response: Since I did not already possess much experience with digitization technology and processes, I was required to learn alongside my staff throughout the project. In reality we cross-trained each other in respective areas where some expertise had been gained.