Document digitisation & encoding

Digitising archival documents helps to share them more widely and prevents wear and tear on fragile originals. If you're planning to digitise, we can advise on formats, resolutions, digital storage, creating metadata and rights & permissions.

Document digitisation

We run short, hands-on digitisation courses for researchers on how to best digitise archival documents using a smartphone or DSLR and copystand set-up. These courses are held in collaboration with the University of Bristol's Special Collections. We also work with researchers to plan the digitisation of large corpora of documents. This may be by training staff in-house or helping to find an appropriate external service provider.

Text encoding

The Research IT team work with academics to encode archival documents as Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) compliant digital information. TEI XML has become the de facto standard in encoding texts in a machine-readable digital form. This allows large collections of text to be accessed and analysed digitially. 

Research IT worked with researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham in the Manuscript Pamphleteering in Early Stuart England project. The team helped the academics develop the schema used to encode the pamphlets and metadata and develop a web application to browse and search transcripts alongside high quality images of the originals.

Raleigh’s ‘Speech at his Death’ rendered in a webpage with an image of the original text

Training materials from our short hands-on digitisation course

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