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 State Library of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum. The collections that are being 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 a custom-built sound studio and helped to repurpose this 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.
Digitisation 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.
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.
Digital Transitions Versa
The DT Versa is a complete digitization platform. The stand, camera, and column seamlessly integrate with our software for fast and easy preservation-grade digitization of bound materials, manuscripts, flat artwork, maps, plans and photographs.
Digital Transitions Atom
The DT Atom is a smaller platform that functions similarly to the DT Versa and is used by the DCWA to digitise transmissive items such as slides and negatives to the required archival preservation standards.
Kodak Alaris i4250
A powerful batch document scanner for high-volume capture, the Kodak Alaris is capable of handling an average of up to 30,000 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 Studio is located at the State Library of Western Australia.
The Audio Studio 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 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 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, 16mm, Super 16mm, and 35mm. 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, Betacam, VHS-C, U-matic, DV, and Mini DV.
The Centre has recently added a workstation dedicated to imaging disks in various formats, including floppy disks, zip disks, CDs and DVDs.
The Centre is a partner on Australian Emulation Network: Accessing Born Digital Cultural Collections LIEF project, and is capable of running emulation on the Autralian EaaSI (Emulation-as-a-Service Infrastructure) browser-based platform.
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 is run and managed by three entities: DCWA Governance Board, DCWA Steering Committee and the digitisation team.
- DCWA Governance Board
The DCWA Governance Board is responsible for the strategic management and utilisation of the DCWA.
- DCWA Steering Committee
The Steering Committee comprises of members from all project partner organisations. The Committee is responsible for overseeing the infrastructure and operations of DCWA. The DCWA coordinator meets with the committee regularly to discuss priorities, key changes and goals for the coming projects.
Current membership (2023/2024):
Chair, University of Western Australia Professor Benjamin Smith Curtin University A/Professor Susanna Castleden Edith Cowan University Professor Paul Arthur Murdoch University Professor Helena Grehan WA Museum Mr Evan Rogers WA State Library Ms Sophie Farrar Curtin University Library Mr David Wells ECU Library Ms Constance Wiebrands Murdoch Library Ms Claire Fletcher University of Notre Dame Library Mr Stephen McVey UWA Library Mr Scott Nicholls Co-opted Member Assoc Professor Andrew Woods DCWA Coordinator Ms Janet Luk Executive Officer (UWA) Ms Debra Paisley
- DCWA Digitisation Team
The digitisation team are the staff behind the daily operations of the Digitisation Centre. Each member brings distinctive skills that allow DCWA to run efficiently, maintain international standards in digitisation, and build relationships with collection custodians. Currently five digitisation officers are working in the DCWA facilities in UWA and the State Library of WA.
The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia
Phone+61 8 6488 7064
Address - Main Digitisation Lab
Level 2, Barry J Marshall Library, Building 446, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009See the map here
Address - Audio Studio
Level 2, State Library of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Precinct, 25 Francis Street, WA 6000See the map here