Digitization Services

So you’re ready to digitize. You’ve started to identify what you can manage and where you may need additional hardware or expertise. Now how do you find a partner who you can trust with those irreplaceable treasures?

Whether you have oversized blueprints or posters, handwritten letters from the Civil War, or glass plate photographic negatives from the local newspaper archive, Backstage Library Works can give your unique materials the care they deserve. From temperature-controlled secure storage facilities and inventory control systems, to custom-built imaging cradles, to staff training that focuses on proper handling of archival materials, we’ve designed our digitization process for your peace of mind.



Backstage can create digital images from nearly any type of source material. We digitize:

  • Newspapers
  • Microfilm and microfiche
  • Photographs, negatives, slides
  • Manuscripts, diaries, journals, correspondence
  • Reports, minutes, historical records
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Yearbooks
  • Scrapbooks
  • Clipping files
  • Oversized books
  • Posters, maps, blueprints
  • 3-dimensional objects

Our digitization staff has years of experience working with fragile, complex, and unconventional formats from historical, archival, and special collections. If you have questions about digitizing your materials, give us a call.

Our Studio

The Preservation Service Center, our permanent facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and software, including some innovations of our own design. Our studio is designed to meet the environmental specifications of the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI).

Whether you choose to send your material to us or you would like us to bring our equipment to you your material will be in good hands.

To provide you with a complete solution, we offer an unparalleled combination of consultative project planning, digitization, and metadata. Our process has options to include material preparation, digital image capture, derivative file creation, OCR text conversion, descriptive metadata creation, and metadata formatting to fit your discovery systems.

We provide digitization services primarily to libraries, museums, and archives; the Backstage team has produced millions of preservation-quality digital images.

We understand the challenges and intricacies of scanning retrospective material, including rare, fragile, and often unique original items. Our dedicated staff of librarians, photographers, and technicians has earned a reputation for respectful, specialized handling of archival collections like yours.

Focus on Quality and Standards

We can meet FADGI quality guidelines from 2 stars up to 4 stars depending on your needs and budget. We use proven processes and careful adherence to the FADGI recommendations or we can meet your specific guidelines. We can process your collection for your access plans, and we can meet your need for a high-quality digital file that can serve as a digital preservation copy to meet your long-term storage needs.

High-Quality Scanning to Your Specifications

At Backstage, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything. We’re dealing with your special collections, and they’re called special for a reason. So we collaborate with you, crafting a project plan to meet the requirements of your materials, your institutional policies, your timeframes, and your budget constraints.

Our default is to perform 100-percent full-image quality review of all scanned images. Our quality assurance professionals check and recheck the quality, legibility and accuracy of scanned files, which can be created to most specifications for resolution, processing, organization, file naming, file format, and delivery media.

Secure Storage for Your Materials

Our purpose-built preservation center was designed with you in mind. You can rest assured that we’ll look after your special collections with the same care they’d receive at home. An environmentally controlled, secure storage area ensures that your materials are safely kept in a proper environment while remaining easily accessible for our digitization crews to make the conversion. Inventory control systems require that materials be checked out for processing by an authorized team member and that the materials are trackable by time, location, and person from the time they arrive in our shop until they’re safely back in your hands. If you’d like to see the measures we take to protect your collection, we’d be happy to show you around. Just contact your Backstage representative to arrange a tour.

Digital collections and Metadata

To make your digitized materials more easily accessible, we can prepare your images and metadata for upload into the digital asset management system (DAM) of your choice. We can process your digital images for optical character recognition (OCR), converting the scanned words into searchable text. We also offer page-level and article-level segmentation for newspapers and other serials. We work with whatever metadata requirements you have, whether you’re looking for simple technical information or full descriptive cataloging. We can even process newspaper files to NDNP standards using METS/ALTO metadata output from CCS docWORKS™.

Project Consulting

Maybe you know precisely what you want from a digitization partner. Or perhaps you’re new to digitization, or to outsourcing, or to both. Whatever your level of expertise, we want to make certain that you get the results you want from your digitization project. As part of our services, we can help you plan out your project. Working from your vision of the end product, we can match your materials to the right equipment and processes to optimize quality and work within your budget. What resolution do you need on those handwritten letters? What imaging equipment is the best fit for those oversized maps? Can we streamline the process by microfilming your newspapers first, then scanning from the film? Let us work through the particulars of your project with you. There’s no extra charge for making a plan that will allow us to deliver the best results possible with the resources available.

To start exploring how Backstage can help with your next digitization project, call us at
1-800-288-1265 or drop us a note.