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Digitization Kits Available to Wisconsin Libraries

Thursday, September 26, 2019

In collaboration with the South Central Library System (SCLS) and Recollection Wisconsin, 20 Digitization Kits have been distributed to library systems across Wisconsin. This project was made possible through WISE funding. The intended goal of this project is to increase the capacity of public libraries throughout Wisconsin to digitize local history resources. In turn, these history resources could be used to help preserve local history, aid in genealogical research, and support student inquiry around Wisconsin history. Digitized materials will be made available online through Recollection Wisconsin and DPLA.


Computer and scanner included with Digitization Kits
Photo by Shawn Vesely, courtesy of Recollection WI.

The Digitization Kits include a basic flatbed scanner and other equipment for scanning two-dimensional photos and documents. These kits were based on digitization kits created for New York METRO’s Culture In Transit project. SCLS procured equipment and assembled the kits in early 2019 and have made them available to library systems that expressed interest in pursuing digitization projects in a September 2018 Google Poll. These kits are comprised of identical hardware to help foster collaboration between systems, libraries, and other organizations in supporting and planning for digitization projects.

In July, 22 staff from 12 regional public library systems around the state participated in training workshops presented by South Central Library System and Recollection Wisconsin. The workshops were held in Madison at SCLS headquarters and in Keshena at the College of Menominee Nation Library. The goals of the workshops were to introduce the scanning kits, provide an overview of steps for systems to work with their member libraries to develop digital projects and contribute content to Recollection Wisconsin and DPLA, and build networks across regional library systems to share information and expertise. Tamara Ramski, Digitization Specialist for SCLS, walked through the workflow she uses when partnering with libraries. Craig Ellefson of SCLS gave an overview of the equipment and support resources. Emily Pfotenhauer of Recollection Wisconsin discussed metadata requirements and copyright considerations for digital collections.

Moving forward, libraries are encouraged to contact their systems to inquire about the availability of Digitization Kits for local projects. Recollection Wisconsin staff are available as a resource to help libraries and systems plan and carry out digitization projects ( SCLS is happy to answer system questions to clarify project workflows ( For more information on this ongoing project, including documentation, templates, and resources, visit or check out the slides from the workshops.

Written by Emily Pfotenhauer and Ben Miller


For questions about this information, contact Ben Miller (608) 224-6168

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