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Digitization Services for Archival Materials

This guide provides information regarding requests to create digital copies of materials in the Elihu Burritt Library's Archives and Special Collections.

New digital collections

The Elihu Burritt library preserves and makes available collections of digital objects that fit within the library’s mission. This includes both digital reproductions of other media (e.g. digital scans of books or photographs) as well as original digital creations in all file formats. Any member of the CCSU community may contact the Archives and Special Collections Department or the Digital Humanities Librarian with requests for materials to be included in our digital collections or proposals for new digital collections or digitization projects.

The Burritt library’s primary repository for digital objects is the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA). The CTDA is dedicated to the maintenance, delivery, and preservation of a wide range of digital resources for educational and cultural institutions and state agencies in Connecticut. Depending on the nature, use, and copyright status of the objects in a collection, the Burritt library may store that collection on the CTDA or on another platform. The library stores some digital objects on its instance of Alma/Primo, a library services platform provided by ExLibris. We also make some audio and video files available through the university’s instance of MediaSpace, a media platform provided by Kaltura

Decisions to create new digital collections are made by a committee consisting of Library Director Carl Antonucci, Head of Special Collections and Archives Renata Vickrey, and Digital Humanities Librarian Brian Matzke. Decisions are made based on several criteria, including:

  • Uniqueness. The Burritt Library prioritizes collecting materials that are not easily available in other digital repositories.
  • Relevance to the CCSU community. The Burritt Library is primarily focused on collecting materials that directly pertain to the teaching and research interests of CCSU faculty and students. We are also focused on collecting materials that preserve the cultural heritage of Connecticut.
  • Copyright status. We may not be able to collect materials that are under copyright if the rights holder has not given written permission.
  • Availability of cataloging data. The Burritt Library catalogues digital objects in order to make them findable and useful for students and researchers. Before we commit to including digital objects in a repository, we may ask those providing the objects to also provide metadata (such as title, creator, date, etc.) for cataloging.
  • Staff resources. Because activities like scanning, cataloging, and ingesting objects into a repository all take time, we have limited capacity for taking on large digitization projects. Librarians are available to partner with faculty and community members to apply for grants to pay for student workers or other staff necessary to complete a proposed digitization project.
  • Location. The Burritt Library is able to oversee digitization projects that take place on campus. Librarians are not available to manage or assist with scanning, photographing, or any other digitization activities that take place off campus.
  • Storage space. If the size of a digital collection exceeds our storage capacity, we may not be able to ingest the collection into a repository. Librarians are available to partner with faculty and community members to apply for grants to defray the cost of additional storage space.

We reserve the right to refuse a request to create a new digital collection based on these criteria.

Decisions about creating digital collections are made independently from decisions about creating physical collections. The library may agree to digitize items and commit to preserving the digital reproductions without committing to preserving the physical originals in our Archives and Special Collections. Those inquiring about donating physical items should contact Renata Vickrey.


Costs associated with the creation of a new digital collection are the responsibility of the requesting faculty member or department. Librarians are available to partner with faculty and community members to apply for grants to defray these costs when possible.

Estimated costs associated with a digitization project


Staff time on a digitization project is often the single largest expense, and can vary greatly depending on the size of the project and the nature of materials being digitized. This digitization cost calculator can provide a rough estimate of the labor costs associated with a digitization project which can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to well over $100,000.


Whenever possible, the library will use the equipment that it already owns, but depending on the nature of the materials, new projects may require the purchase of new equipment. Cameras and scanners can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000, and they may also require software licensing or maintenance fees. Librarians can provide information on the equipment needs of a digitization project.


As our collections increase, so does our need for storage on the Connecticut Digital Archive. CTDA ensures that collections are preserved in perpetuity and are made available to the public online. Storage costs in CTDA start at $8,167 per TB, and that cost should be built into a digitization project's budget. The CTDA Cost Schedule is available below.

Funding opportunities

Below are some possible sources of grant funds to cover the costs associated with a digitization project.

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