questions to ask when you learn of digitization projects | Wynken de Worde
"Some days you wake up and you see announcements of a new project to digitize a collection of primary source materials. Perhaps an archive that covers centuries of technological and commercial changes, perhaps a collection of newspapers that encompasses the history of African-American politics and culture, just to name a couple of purely hypothetical examples. I don’t know any details about such agreements and neither do you, unless you happen to be one of the top-level executives at one of the holding institutions for these collections or at one of the companies doing the digitization. And because we don’t know any details, we don’t know whether such projects are great or not. But we can—and we should—ask some questions when we hear about them: Who financially benefits from such agreements? ... Who is going to have access to the resulting images? ... What will you be able to do with the resulting images? ... How will this impact the ability of researchers to access the original documents? ..."