Community Discussion: Best practices for digitising 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 digitisation practices is vital.

Why digitise? Digitising 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. Digitisation 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 digitising your documents. However, figuring out the most efficient, affordable, and responsible way to digitise thousands of documents can be a daunting task.

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

In case you weren’t able to join us for the first webinar, here is the recording:

How to join the webinar

Thursday 23 March at 13:00 UTC (other timezones) you can join a second live webinar where practitioners will share their experience digitising documents and participants can ask questions. This webinar will last approximately 1.5 hours and will be recorded and shared here.

Instructions to join:

  1. Go to https://www.uberconference.com/huridocs-collaboratory
  2. Click on My Computer at the top of the screen to connect to the audio through your computer. Please use a headset with a microphone so we can hear you clearly. If you are unable to connect to the audio through your computer, you can use your phone- just dial (country code 1) 607-200-3772 or select My Phone to see international dial-in instructions.

How to join the forum

Wednesday 15 March to Wednesday 29 March you can join our online discussion forum at https://collaboratory.huridocs.org/ to discuss challenges and solutions related to digitising documents. More information and how to get started:

The HURIDOCS Collaboratory

Participants

We’re thankful to the practitioners have volunteered their time to present their digitisation experiences in this discussion:

  • Nicole Friedman, Hungary
  • Elisabeth Baumgartner of SwissPeace, Switzerland
  • Yasmine Shash, Egypt
  • Alina Tiphagne of People’s Watch, India
  • Ann Marie Clark of Purdue University, USA
  • Rafiki Ubaldo, Sweden
  • Bert Verstappen of HURIDOCS, Switzerland
  • Karuna Parajuli of the Women’s Rehabilitation Center (WOREC), Nepal
  • Gyaneshwar Narayan of the University of the South Pacific Library, Fiji

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