Skip to main content

National Transportation Knowledge Network (NTKN): Blog

From Paws to Claws – Digitization at the LibGuide Petting Zoo

by Cara Marcus on 2020-01-30T12:46:00-05:00 in Information Management, History, Publishing & Reporting | Comments

While many of the creatures in the LibGuide Petting Zoo may amble around on hooves or paws, the “digit” part of digitization stands for digital.  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, digitization is “the conversion of text, pictures, or sound into a digital form that can be processed by a computer.” Bobbi and Cara will stand on their own two feet and walk you through the digitization process with this comprehensive LibGuide.

Pawprints in the sand

Featured Guide:  Digitization
This LibGuide comes to you from the NTKN Digitization Working Group

The platform for this guide is provided through the National Transportation Library


This guide serves as a starting point for transportation agencies who are planning a digitization project. So - let’s sharpen up our talons and get ready to dive right in to this virtual version of the Zoo.

Guide Encounter: 

Start at the home tab for a brief introduction to what the guide is all about.  Then tread over to the first tab on the Digitization Process.  You’ll find a simple checklist to use for planning all the steps in your digitization process.  The next tab is the General Resources Tab.  If you’re new to digitization, this is where you should begin your trek.  If you can’t put your finger on it, everything from audio preservation to copyright to image digitization to how to scan (and more) can be found on this tab. 

Don’t “paws” yet.  The next two tabs abound with sample Transportation Digitization Projects and Plans.  You’ll find inspiration so you can follow in the footsteps of collections of University Transportation Libraries, State DOTs, Historical Societies, and even a Historic Vehicle Collection from Yellowstone National Park, which includes thirty horse-drawn and motorized vehicles.

Digitization projects are built on solid metadata, which are words used in the records to help describe them and aid in their discovery.  Saunter over to the Metadata Standards tab for standards, best practices, and guidance.  There is also a File Naming tab with helpful resources so you’re not caught flat-footed.

Are you ready to begin digitizing?  While you can’t scan by using your actual digits, the Technology Options tab provides lists of software, scanners, hardware, etc., to help you foot the bill.  And if you want even more, stroll to the Professional Development tab, where you’ll find trainings, webinars, and other career development offerings to help you get a thumbs-up to digitization.  

Let’s flex our digits, paws and claws and set up our transportation digital collections for all the world to view!  Your friendly hand-holders Cara and Bobbi will be off in this 1860’s cattle train from the "Goodnight's Turnpike" at Battle Creek in the Panhandle image from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, just one of the many treasures you’ll find in this LibGuide. 

Texas Oxcart

About the Authors:

Bobbi deMontigny is the librarian at the Montana Department of Transportation

Cara Marcus is the resource center manager of National RTAP 

 Add a Comment



Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.