TFAO Financial Assistance for Digitization and Online Publication of Scholarly Texts



Prior to applying to sources of assistance (funders and candidates for in-kind assistance) TFAO recommends a readiness self-assessment. A nonprofit owner of texts should:

1. evaluate and decline non-fee commercial and nonprofit solutions for digitization including:

a. commercially-based solutions from, Google and similar sources, and
b. nonprofit solutions offered by nonprofit organizations including TFAO

2. evaluate revenue considerations for the texts [1]

3. develop a means of determining, within the context of its mission statement, when greater benefit is obtained through sale of texts versus making them available to the public without charge

4. inventory its texts [2]

5. determine if there are sufficient texts to to make a test project worthwhile

6. have a commitment on the part of staff and volunteers to set aside sufficient time to complete a pilot project

7. have availability of a computer to store the digitized texts

8. have support of management



1. Questions to be asked should include:

a. how much text should be placed online free of charge to the public for books in print
b. what is the estimated future likelihood of revenue

2. For each document, data should include:

a. a word count
b. height and width of pages and width of columns
c. type of copyright. Texts that would require the approval of authors or other institutions should be noted. A case by case judgment is required weighing the importance of the document against the time and effort required to acquire the permission.
d. notation on whether the document relates to American representational art. Documents pertaining to a museum's personnel, its history and operations are not of interest of TFAO.
e. notation on whether the document is in print or out of print
f. information on the page background color and shade. The closer the background is to pure white, the more likely OCR will be successful.
g. information on the color and shade of the print. The closer the text is to black, the fewer OCR errors will occur.

Go back to TFAO Financial Assistance for Digitization and Online Publication of Scholarly Texts

rev. 1/27/06

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