The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia
The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia is an important piece of research infrastructure that aims to digitise, to global archival standards, the major Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences collections held in Western Australia. This centre emerges from an innovative collaboration between the Western Australian universities, the Western Australian Museum and the State Library of Western Australia. The collections that will be digitised are of national and international significance.
Facilities and Equipment
The Digitisation Centre was made possible by a $1,100,000 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Grant from the Australian Research Council and $425,000 in cash contributions by the five Western Australian Universities, the State Library of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum. In addition there has been a massive ‘in-kind’ contribution of time and expertise by staff at all participating institutions.
The University of Western Australia donated a large laboratory room and paid for the custom refurbishment of this room to accommodate the bulk of the equipment of the Centre. The State Library of Western Australia donated two custom-built sound studios and helped to repurpose these for the needs of the Centre. Thanks to this extraordinary support from all those involved, the Digitisation Centre has been able to purchase a comprehensive range of world-class archival standard digitisation equipment and to install these in custom designed archival digitisation facilities.
FacilitiesDigitisation Centre Room
The Digitisation Centre is located at the University of Western Australia’s Crawley campus, on Level 2 of the Barry J Marshall Library (pictured right).
The Centre features a secure room on the ground level of the Barry J Marshall Library which is especially fitted for receiving collections and preparing them for digitisation.
The Centre’s Audio Studio is located at the State Library of Western Australia in the Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge.
Zeutschel ScanStudio A0
The Zeutschel ScanStudio (pictured to the right) is a reprographic system for the digitisation of transparent and opaque archive material up to A0 in size. It utilizes a tall scanning base with a movable high-resolution camera (150 MP), adjustable lighting and interchangeable copyboard modules and lenses to provide a studio-like capture environment in a contained, all-in-one system. It can digitise a variety of materials, up to 10,000 dpi resolution, including:
- All size film negatives, slides and glass plates
- Bound and loose documents including scrapbooks, ledgers, artwork, manuscripts, correspondence and photographic prints
- Maps, blueprints and other large‐format materials
The WideTEK is a wide format scanner that scans documents up to 1.5 metres wide and nearly unlimited length. It produces extraordinarily sharp images, with colour accuracy superior to competing scanners and allows speeds to be individually configured to scan fragile documents. Ideal for scanning of architectural drawings, large rock art tracings, colour posters and maps.
Kodak Alaris i4250
A powerful batch document scanner for high-volume capture, the Kodak Alaris is capable of handling an average of up to 40,000 pages per day and can scan a mixture of documents of different sizes and thicknesses, including fragile documents. It has sensitive built-in technology to avoid document damage and excellent OCR read rates for more precise data extraction with no loss of scanning speed.
AudioThe Digitisation Centre’s Audio Digitisation Suite is located at the State Library of Western Australia.
The Audio Suite has the capacity to read all major analogue audio formats, including reel-to-reel, vinyl, cassettes and multiple other tape formats, and to ingest these to archival standards in digital format.
QUADRIGA Audio (pictured to the right) is the solution for the digitisation of a variety of media types, transferring single carrier sound archives into digital mass storage systems, with a strong emphasis on audio quality and metadata accuracy. It allows capture from analogue compact-cassette recorders, analogue tape machines, Digital Audio Tapes, record players, and other machines.
Lasergraphics ScanStation 6.5K
The ScanStation (pictured to the right) is specially designed for archival film scanning. It offers up to 6.5K resolution, scanning speeds of up to 60 fps, and handles multiple film gauges including 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, Super 16mm, 17.5mm, 28mm, 35mm, 65/70mm (5-perf). The ScanStation reads optical soundtracks at any frame rate and outputs the sound with correct pitch and in sync with the picture.
Other features include severely warped film handling, multiple concurrent file outputs, HDR for colour and B&W film, Automatic Failed Splice Recovery, and best-in-class image stabilisation.
QUADRIGA Video is a migration workstation designed for the quality-controlled transfer of video tapes into archive files on a large scale. It supports simultaneous, parallel capturing from video playback machines and supports the conversion of VHS, S-VHS, Betamax, VHS-C, 8mm / Hi-8, Digital 8, and Mini DV.
Meet the team behind the operations of the Digitisation Centre. They come with a range of unique skills and experiences in the industry.
- Chief Investigator: Professor Benjamin Smith, The University of Western Australia
- Chief Investigator: Professor Helena Grehan, Murdoch University
- Chief Investigator: Professor Jo McDonald, The University of Western Australia
- Chief Investigator: Professor Erik Champion, Curtin University
- Chief Investigator: Dr Toby Burrows, The University of Western Australia
- Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Michael Broderick, Murdoch University
- Chief Investigator: Professor Paul Arthur, Edith Cowan University
- Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Jonathon McIntosh, Edith Cowan University
- Coordinator: Farah Kabbani
- Digitisation Assistants: Hiring currently underway
Unlocking Cultural Collections through Digitisation Webinar
Watch the webinar event above held by the Western Australian University Librarians (WAUL) on 11 December 2020 featuring the following four presentations:
- 'Introduction to the Digitisation Centre of WA' by Scott Nicholls, Associate University Librarian, Research and Collections (UWA)
- 'Using digital collections in research' by Professor Ben Smith, Associate Dean, Research (UWA)
- 'Collection prioritisation' by Peter Green, Associate Director, Collections, Systems & Infrastructure (Curtin University)
- 'Digital asset management' by Daniel Rozas Nunez, Manager Collection Care (SLWA)
The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia is a collaboration between the Western Australian universities, the Western Australian Museum and the State Library of Western Australia.
The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia is an Australian Research Council funded project: LE200100123