Cost Issues in Digitalization and Preservation: A Case Study of a Small-Scale Music Library

Cost Issues in Digitalization and Preservation: A Case Study of a Small-Scale Music Library

Ada Chi Wai Chung (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2463-3.ch003


For many projects, resources are always limited. Hence, there is often a need to allocate resources in a most cost-effective manner. There are some cost models developed as guidelines on how to estimate the costs of digitalization and preservation of information in a comparatively more accurate way. By knowing the factors which affecting those costs, it will be easier to find a cost-effective strategy for digital preservation. Among different migration strategies proposed by researchers, in this article the migration in the framework of Open Archival Information System (OAIS) will be studied. This is applied to the case of this small-scale music library, Melos Music Library in El Parnaso Centre in Uruguay.
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Information preservation is an important issue discussed in the past decade. It always refers to the digital preservation of information. As digitalization is one of the ways to store and to preserve the massive data we have, there is a need to study digital preservation which especially focuses on the long-term preservation of the information. According to Rosenthal, Robertson, Lipkis, Reich, and Morabito (2005), “The goal of a digital preservation system is that the information it contains remains accessible to users over a long period of time.” Migration is one of the means for digital preservation and to make the information sustainable throughout time. It is significant to find out the costs behind all those procedures involved in digital migration.

There are a number of research studies on the cost issues in digitalization and they are mostly in the academic libraries context (Alhaji, 2007; Byrd, Courson, Roderick, & Taylor, 2001; Piorun & Palmer, 2008) or in the medical libraries context (Becker & Arenson, 1994; Shepard, 2005). This study emphasizes on a digitalization project in a small-scale music library in order to fill the gaps. The concepts applied here can be upscale to a large-scale digitalization project in the future.

This article aims 1) to study various existing cost models for digital preservation proposed by researchers at the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model, the Cost Model for Digital Preservation (CMDP) by Kejser, Nielsen, and Thirifays (2011) will be discussed in more details; 2) to identify the tasks in digital migration and the costs for those tasks; 3) to find out all the possible costs in digitalization and digital migration; 4) to understand the difficulties in reducing costs and to suggest alternatives for reducing costs; and finally 5) apply to the case of the Melos Music Library.

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