The National Archive has published some suggested resources and they are listed below. Your own institution may have already developed standards, or you may consult with a vendor to develop your specifications.
Library of Congress, Technical Standards for Digital Conversion of Text and Graphic Materials (December 2006) (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/about/techStandards.pdf)
United States National Archives and Records Administration, Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access: Creation of Production Master Files - Raster Images (2004) (http://www.archives.gov/preservation/technical/guidelines.html)
California Digital Library Guidelines for Digital Images (January 2011) (http://www.cdlib.org/services/dsc/tools/docs/cdl_gdi_v2.pdf)
Before material can be added to a collection, it needs to be digitized. This can be done using all sorts of devices, from a flatbed scanner costing less than a hundred dollars to a robotic page turning scanner costing thousands. Either way, the basic principles are the same.
What Resolution? Scanners can make digital copies of original documents in various sizes. By choosing the appropriate resolution setting on your device, you are assured that the digital copy is neither too large nor too small. For display on a computer screen, 300 dpi is usually the best resolution to select. If you intend to print a copy of your digital image, use 600 dpi. Higher resolutions should not be used unless you are creating an archival quality digital master, but be prepared to invest heavily in computer storage and processing power if you do so.
Color or Grayscale? Material should always be scanned in color, even if the source is just black text on a white page. Color images retain more digital information than grayscale or black and white images.
What File Format? TIFF is the preferred file format for saving your images. However, if your system uses a digital camera, JPEG may be your only option. If so, select the highest JPEG quality setting possible. When you upload your images to a collection on Ancestry, a copy of your digital image is loaded to the website. It is re-sized and compressed for optimal viewing on the Internet. Because of this, you should always keep the original file stored on your local computer or backup system.
No, scanning services are not currently part of the program.
The upload tool is a simple tool that allows you to upload up to 100 digital image files to your collection at one time. Follow these instructions:
You can upload up to 100 files at a time. Individual file size cannot exceed 100MB. If your collection contains more than 100 images, you can add more after the first set of images is uploaded.
A bulk uploader is being developed and will be available soon.
Supported file formats are .jpg .jpeg .png .gif .tiff .bmp .xls .xlsx .csv.
During the digitization process you will need to name each file as it is scanned. Use a file naming system that makes sense to you and one that can expand with your growing collection. Keep in mind that files are sorted alpha-numerically in collections on Ancestry, so to keep your images in order you should choose a system that allows for sequential numbering. For example, if you are scanning a Denver City Directory and would like all of the pages to stay in order you could name your files 1810DenverCityDirectory001.tiff, 1810DenverCityDirectory002.tiff, 1810DenverCityDirectory003.tiff and so forth. Avoid using special characters in your naming system (i.e. ?/@*#)
A collection could be a group of photographs from a particular place or time, a single historical book, or a collection of obituaries from a newspaper. The main principle is that the material is related somehow and belongs together. You can create as many collections as you like, so experiment with the method that works best for you.
Remember that images in collections need to be free from any copyright restrictions and if they contain pictures of living individuals, you must get their permission before posting them to a collection.
By posting a collection on Ancestry, you are sharing your valuable documents with other members of the community and helping them have success in their family history research. When your scanned images have been uploaded and indexed, researchers can find your records through an "Ancestry style" search. Additionally, you are creating an additional channel through which the local and global community can access your valuable material and learn about the mission of your organization.
There is no limit to the count of images in a collection.
As the collection owner, you manage all the images in your collection as well as the metadata (name, description, date, etc.) tied to it. You can also delete collections although be aware that this action will also delete any images contained within it. You will be required to login using your Ancestry.com username and password to manage your collections.
Once you have created your organizational profile, you can create your first collection. Follow the on-screen prompts and enter the minimum required fields:
You are encouraged to provide as much detail on your collection as possible. The additional descriptive fields include language, repository, author, call number and record type. Note that you can edit your collection description at any time and these updates will take effect immediately.
Once you have created a collection, the next step is to enable others to search for people they are interested in. The process of identifying people and their events from your digital image is called indexing. Indexing can begin as soon as an image has been added to a collection. When you save the information that you have indexed, it will automatically be made searchable within just a few days. Be sure to mark your collections as “index complete” when you are done keying the image.
From your collection, click the image that you want to index. It will open in window that has the capability of zooming in and out on the details of the document. When you are ready to start keying your image, click the "add a person" button in the upper left area of your browser window then draw a highlight box over the person’s name. You will then be able to add details such as their name, birth, marriage, or death dates and places or show relationships between people on the page. Be sure to mark your collections as "index complete" when you are done keying the image.
While there are no "required" fields, as a general rule you should always key the primary person listed on the document first. For example if you are entering data from a marriage announcement, choose either the bride or groom as the primary person and key their first and last name (select "add a person" in the upper left area). When you have entered the primary name, select "add a fact" from the dropdown (marriage in this example) and identify the second person on the document (bride or groom, depending on your initial selection). If there is additional available that is applicable, e.g. parent names, this information should be collected. The information you key will be brought into the index and made searchable.
You may also want to refer to the Keying Standards that are published as part of the Ancestry World Archives Program: http://www.ancestry.com/wiki/index.php?title=World_Archives_Keying_Standards
After you have completed indexing the image and marked the image, "index complete", the names on the image will be searchable within 48 hours.
NOTE: During the beta period, collections uploaded and indexed will not be searchable on the main Ancestry.com search. However, they are searchable within the Content Publisher site.
The Publisher Home page will display all your collections and the index status of each collection. To share your branded web site, simply click the "share collections" link in the upper right area of Publisher Home. A dialog box will open and will present a special URL. This web address is to a public page where your collections can be viewed without requiring an Ancestry account. Highlight and copy the link that is presented to share your branded web site with whomever you choose. Users who access this page will be able to view and search all images in your collections.
Yes, completely. People accessing the branded web site will not have rights to edit, add or delete information. They can view and browse all the content you’ve published but they will not have "administration" rights to those collections. The links to edit, add or delete are completely removed from the visitors viewing your collection.