Digitizing has become an essential component of good collection management, and it can benefit your collection in many ways:
As the saying goes - "a picture tells a thousand words". A simple photograph of a collection object can replace paragraphs of text in your collection management system. Being able to search for an object in your CMS and see it instantly, rather than having to physically find it in the storage area saves time, effort and potential damage to other collection items. A3 Collection Services can photograph your collection (maybe starting with the most important pieces and working our way down) and give you a set of images to attach into your CMS.
This same set of photographs can be used to promote your collection and your organisation to people online. Add images to your website and create a beautiful virtual gallery then add key search terms to attract collectors and historians to your organisation to come and see the real thing.
Digitization can be done to different levels - images for websites and publications should be smaller electronic .jpg files so that they load quickly, but as an archival reference tool, the files should be larger size .tiff files which can be enlarged and zoomed in to see as much detail as possible. A3 will provide both large and smaller files so all contingencies are covered.
I had the pleasure of working with the UNSW Canberra Campus Special Collections staff recently to digitise a small collection of lantern slides. The lantern slides were imaged using transmitted and reflected light to capture the images as they would appear when projected with a Magic Lantern, and also to save caption information written on the front and edges of the slides. A complete set of images was supplied to Special Collections on a portable hard drive for archiving and use.