Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "Talk to Me in a Year": The Conservator's Perspective on Collaboration for Special Collections Digitization Projects in Research Libraries

The perspective of the conservator has been largely ignored in the literature on digitization projects within research libraries, despite the growing influence that these projects have on the priorities and funding of those organizations. This exploratory study attempts to identify the factors that may influence how library conservators collaborate with curators and digital production staff on special collections digitization projects. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten conservators from a range of research institutions to document their activities and perspectives concerning digitization and collaboration. Library organizational structures, professional relationships, and project funding are compared across several institutions to see how they may impact conservator involvement. The study found that social capital, liaison positions, standardized digitization workflows, and the physical proximity of the conservation lab to special collections influence the way that conservators are involved in digitization projects.