The confluence of marginalia (how this post came about).

Sarah Werner makes some excellent points as to how limited the imagination is for digitizing objects (why focus only on text?) along with the ideas that most digitization conflates copy and edition, and it allows others to make important decisions for you.

I often look at scanning machines and wonder about how much they cost. They seems like a lot. Good digital cameras have come down in price, and the know-how of taking good pictures is not outside the reach of most people. So, as Werner points out, you lose the bespoke elements in digital work. Harder, better, faster, stronger is the motto, which runs counter to the whole view of special collections and archives as being places that hold unique items. Considering the difficulty and expense of traditional models for digitization that requires special software, hardware, expertise and training, how many countless hours and expensive plane tickets could be saved with a Nikon? It’s high time that digitization becomes not just a collections tool, but a reference tool as well.

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