Community Discussion: Best practices for digitizing documents

An image of the historic archive of Guatemala's National Police. Photo by Tamy Guberek and Ann Harrison. Source: HRDAG website, and used with permission from HRDAG.

An image of the historic archive of Guatemala’s National Police. Photo by Tamy Guberek and Ann Harrison. Source: HRDAG website, and used with permission.

If you have physical documents related to your human rights work that you want to preserve, protect, or share with others, then learning good digitization practices is vital.

Why digitize? Digitizing your documents greatly improves access to your information, whether you are building an online public library to share documents related to corruption, or making documents searchable for your team. Digitization also helps to preserve and protect important human rights information. Many defenders run the risk that malevolent groups seeking to destroy or confiscate witness testimony, evidence of abuse, and other sensitive information. Others run the risk of documents being subject to harmful storage conditions, such as humidity, insects, and rodents. These are just a few reasons for digitizing your documents. However, figuring out the most efficient, affordable, and responsible way to digitize thousands of documents can be a daunting task.

This online discussion will explore the process of digitizing documents and the best practices that should be applied. A summary of the discussion will be written and shared on the HURIDOCS website.

  • When: February or March, date to be determined by presenters
  • Where: Platform to be determined
  • Who: open to anyone who wants to learn more about digitizing documents

We’ll discuss important considerations, common pitfalls, scanner and software recommendations, and other advice. Whether you are a seasoned digitization expert or someone just starting to think about digitization, we hope you’ll join this webinar to share your experience and learn from others!


We are currently looking for 5-6 people with experience digitizing physical documents who would be willing to share what they have learned in a short presentation and discussion. If you are interested, please contact Kristin Antin at kristin@huridocs.org. Here is an example of a webinar we hosted in January on managing contact information.

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