Photograph of a book on a large digital scanner


As a partner in Ohio Memory and Ohio Digital Network (DPLA), the State Library houses a state of the art digitization lab and is available to assist public libraries with their digitization initiatives.  Although the State Library does not scan materials for other institutions, we can provide training and on-site consultations for libraries who would like to digitize their materials in-house.

Digitization at State Library

Digital Initiatives Librarian Shannon Kupfer-Trausch (614-995-4115 or operates the State Library of Ohio Digitization Lab. The State Library digitizes 10,000-12,000 historical images per year.

Digitization at Your Library

Library Consultant Jen Johnson (614-728-8319 or can answer your questions about digitization programs and services, and Ohio’s participation in the Digital Public Library of America.

Ohio Digitization Hubs

Through LSTA funds awarded in 2013, the Cleveland Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library, and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, in conjunction with OPLIN and the State Library of Ohio, created four digitization hubs within the state.  Each hub serves institutions and individuals within their region by digitizing materials using state of the art equipment.

Ohio Digital Network and DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America  (DPLA) is an all-digital library that serves as a portal for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States.  In 2012 DPLA began an initiative of “hubs” nationwide to collect materials on a larger scale.  The Ohio Digital Network is a project to create a hub for addition of materials from Ohio institutions into DPLA.

Ohio Memory

Ohio Memory is the collaborative digital library of the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio, which includes collections from more than 360 cultural heritage institutions from all of Ohio’s 88 counties.  Established by the Ohio History Connection in 2000, the mission of Ohio Memory is to provide access to historical treasures of Ohio, bringing together primary sources from all parts of the state in an online scrapbook.

Preserve Digital Ohio

A collaborative project created in 2015 by a team of Ohio professionals who participated in ILEAD USA Ohio, funded by a Laura Bush 21st century grant awarded by IMLS to the State Library of Illinois. Preserve Digital Ohio is a collective resource for digital preservation information and best practices, and provides an online inventory tool to track an institution’s digital collections.

Connecting to Collections

Co-sponsored by the State Library, the Ohio History Connection, and the Ohio Museums Association, the Connecting to Collections initiative was funded by IMLS to address the need to improve the care and preservation of materials and objects held in Ohio cultural heritage institutions.

National and International

Digital Public Library of America

The goal of DPLA is to create the largest compilation of digitized materials from cultural heritage institutions in the United States. Since its launch in 2013, DPLA has collected over 22 million items.


Cultural heritage institutions located in Europe contribute their digitized materials to this site.

HathiTrust Digital Library

Academic and research institutions from across the globe have contributed their digitized materials to HathiTrust.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit Internet library, which started in 1996.  Its collections include texts, audio, moving images, software, and archived web pages.


My History
Hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Library, My History includes digitized images, documents, and from over 45 Central Ohio collections.

Ohio Memory

Ohio Memory is the largest collection of digitized images from cultural institutions in Ohio.

Summit Memory

Supported by the Akron-Summit County Public Library, Summit Memory hosts digitized items from local institutions.

The Cleveland Memory Project

Launched by the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University in 2002, Cleveland Memory hosts digitized images from northeast cultural heritage institutions.

The Digital Shoebox Project

Public libraries in southeastern Ohio have the opportunity to have their digitized items hosted at The Digital Shoebox Project.

Getting Started

Tip Sheet: Basic Terminology
A collection of common terms used in the field of digitization.

Library Digitization Cost Calculator
Built by the Digital Library Federation’s Cost Assessment working group, this tool estimates the cost and time involved in various digitization tasks.

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI)
Created as an initiative for common practices across federal agencies, FADGI is collection of best practices for digitizing historical content.

Moving Theory Into Practice
Created and advocated by Cornell University Library with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this tutorial is a comprehensive guide with quizzes that provides an overview of the digitization process, techniques, and guidelines.

Guidelines for Digital Newspaper Preservation Readiness (PDF)
This publication offers practical steps and guidance for any sized institution who desires to digitize newspapers or needs to maintain digitized legacy news publications.  Guidance on digitization in general is also presented.

 Self-Guided Curriculum for Digitization
A series of videos for public librarians created by the Digital Public Library of America and partner service hubs that provides an introduction for how to carry out a digitization.

Planning for Digitization
Selecting Content for a Digitization Project
Understanding Copyright
Using Metadata to Describe Digital Content
Digital Reformatting and File Management
Promoting Use of Your Digital Content

So You’re Thinking of Having a Vendor Digitize Your Yearbooks (PDF)
This OPLIN-created guide can help with the decisions you will need to make when choosing a digitization vendor. It includes questions to ask a possible vendor, and a checklist for your digitization project.


Tip sheet: Funding Your Library Digitization and Preservation Projects with Grants
A collection of digitization grant resources from local, state, and national levels.


Copyright Advisory Network
Created by the Office for Technology Policy of the American Library Association, this website provides resources on copyright and fair use.  Links for five website tools to determine copyright are present and include The Copyright Genie, The Public Domain Slider, and Fair Use Evaluator
A joint initiative by Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America that provides twelve standardized copyright statements for cultural heritage organizations to use for items placed online.


Tip Sheet: Digitization Decision Tree
A visual chart that can be used to decide whether an item of set of items should be digitized, be digitized in-house, or outsourced to a vendor.


Understanding Metadata (PDF)
An overview from the National Information Standards Organization that provides guidance for understanding why metadata is needed and how to create it for digital records.

Dublin Core Basics: The Beginners Guide
This guide provides users with an explanation of basic Dublin Core elements and general directives for creating catalog records for digitized materials using the metadata standard.


Digital Processing Standards and Best Practices (PDF)
From the Center for Digital Scholarship at Notre Dame, this publication provides recommendations for set standards for scanning and editing digital images.

Tip Sheet: Minimum Capture Requirements
Recommended resolution, color space, and bit depth for different types of materials to be digitized.


Tip Sheets: Project Workflow Example
A step-by-step outline for scanning items in-house or for outsourcing services to a vendor.

UCLA Library Special Collections Digital Toolkit
A series of templates institutions can utilize during digitization.  Templates are available for use from the planning of the project through evaluating the project’s success.


Digital Preservation (YouTube)
This webinar, created by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (a division of the American Library Association), provides an overview if what digital preservation is.

Sustainability of Digital Formats
This website has a set of collected resources from the Library of Congress that provides an overview, including risks, for digital formats.