Guidelines for Setting Up a Digital Unification Project

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Codex Siniaticus

​IFLA has released its guidelines for setting up a digital unification project. These provide a checklist, and recommendations, for libraries in the planning, delivery, and finalisation of projects to provide digital access to collections across distance and borders.

Libraries and archives throughout the world hold collections and individual collection items which are of great cultural importance to people everywhere. They document the inextricable interconnectedness of human history.

The full richness of these collections can often only fully be appreciated when they are brought together, yet traditionally, distance and borders have stood in the way of researchers and other users looking to take a comprehensive view.

However, technological advances now make it possible to bring together collections, giving digital access to citizens and researchers wherever they may be. In addition, they enable enhancements to be made, such as contextualisation and mediation, providing more value for users.

There is now a growing body of experience in such ‘digital unification’ projects. IFLA’s new guidelines on setting up digital unification projects draws on this in order to offer a checklist of issues to take into account when preparing, delivering, and finalizing an initiative.

The guidelines are the result of the work of an expert working group, chaired by Isabelle Nyffenegger (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, IFLA National Libraries Section), and previously by Guy Berthiaume (Library and Archives Canada, IFLA National Libraries Section).

Download the guidelines in formal IFLA Standard format as a pdf. The Guidelines are also available in French, GermanSpanish and Chinese.

Download the guidelines in a design format as a pdf.

Visit the full list of case studies on which the guidelines are based. It is possible to submit further case studies - in this case, please share a link to the project with us by email.

Find out about the Working Group that prepared the Guidelines.

Standards, National Libraries, Cultural heritage, Digital libraries, Digital preservation, digital unification

Last update: 21 July 2020