Digital Futures

Well, a British version at least… Here is an interesting JISC document written by Simon Tanner on the value and benefits of digitised resources for learning, teaching, research and enjoyment. It also shows how these digital materials have value in terms of connecting people, identity formation, potential for climate change monitoring and how a a sustainable national collection of rich and accessible digitised resources might benefit Britain.

Inspiring Research

Digitised resources not only improves access but enable new types of research to be asked, such as the Data Mining with Criminal Intent project that is based on the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913

Bestowing Economic Benefits

The digitisation of journals, such as the Wellcome Trust Medical Journal Backfiles project, provides free and immediate access for scientists. One digitised journal, the Biochemical Journal, receives over 300,000 uses a month.

Connecting People and Communities

Resources such as Great War Archive, gathering digitised memorabilia from World War One, not only provide new material for scholars, but enable new communities and expertise to be developed outside the campus walls.

Digital Britain

Digitising some of Britain’s special collections not only provides new data for educators and learners around the world, but also for a greater appreciation of the nation’s ‘prize jewels’; examples include the Freeze Frame collection of polar photographs, or the Old Weather Resource for measuring and transcribing weather reports in Naval logbooks.

Download here (Download starts immediately and is 5 MB)

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  1. i would say a fair way off as we have a lot more pressing social issues… and the contexts are also quite different. with so much of the population previously excluded from access to non-digitised resources, the digitisation of older collections and artifacts may have less relevance to these people. i think we will most likely see the generation of new digital resources with contributions from a wider population and the use of mobile technologies.. an exciting and challenging digital future for south africa!

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