Who performed the digitization?


Public procurement or in-house implementation. During the planning of the task, we examined whether it would be more expedient to have the digitization performed by an external contractor or our own staff. Based on previous experience, and after considering the advantages and disadvantages, the library decided to hire an external contractor: the large amount of work, the limited time at hand, and the novelty of robot technology that was becoming available on the market all supported the idea of involving a professional external contractor. The preparatory tasks were performed by the library staff.


Preparation of the public procurement procedure for digitization: As a first step, we prepared the technical-professional specifications for the public procurement of digitization, in which we developed the evaluation criteria, the conditions for technical-professional and economic-financial suitability. We defined our expectations concerning scanning, character recognition, file naming, uploading the digitized stock, the receipt, return, and conservation of volumes. In a briefing material, we presented the characteristics of the volumes selected for digitization, highlighting the information that is extremely important in the process of scanning and character recognition.

The public procurement procedure: In June 2010, we published our first call for tender that included basic information, technical-professional specifications and legal requirements. Each applicant had to meet several legal requirements: preparation of project fiche; declarations concerning reasons for disqualification; freedom from outstanding tax liabilities; sales revenues in the preceding three years; declaration concerning the service delivered in the preceding three years, including the digitization, character recognition, and entering into a database of library records or archival documents; about experts participating in the contract; about the resources available (about machines suitable for digitization); about collaterals; about partial performances; and about the subcontractors and experts involved in the performance of the contract.

We presented the characteristics of the volumes to be digitized within the framework of an on-the-spot inspection, for the purpose of which we compiled a selection of sample copies. Bidders could ask questions in writing and we published the answers in a document called Supplementary Information.

The companies that participated in the bidding procedure submitted their proposals. After this, based on the criteria laid down in the call for tenders, we evaluated the proposals, made a summary of our findings, announced the results, and concluded a contract with the winner.

The public procurement procedure took much longer than originally planned. The first open public procurement procedure entitled "The digitization, optical character recognition and entering into a database of the partial library stock of the Office of the Hungarian Parliament (books, journals, and official gazettes from the 19–20th centuries) (391/2010)" lasted from June to September of 2010 and was concluded unsuccessfully.

Following this, with regard to the fact that the new law on public procurement had come into force, the call for tenders and the related documentation had to be rewritten. The second open public procurement procedure entitled "The digitization, optical character recognition and entering into a database of the partial library stock of the Office of the Hungarian Parliament (books, journals, and official gazettes from the 19–20th centuries) (406/2010)" started in November 2010 and ended with a successful conclusion of a contract in January 2011.

The company that performed digitization: The winner of the public procurement procedure was the consortium of Bravogroup Rendszerház Kft. and DocuScan Dokumentumkezelő Kft. The project was executed by DocuScan Dokumentumkezelő Kft.

DocuScan Dokumentumkezelő Kft. has been engaged in the management and digitization of documents and the automated management of data from digitised documents for 15 years. They had gained significant experience in the area of digitization; in this project, however, a completely new technique had to be applied. From their former work process, built mainly on high-performance sheetfed scanners that handle sheets separately, they had to switch to book digitization done with the help of robot scanners. Organising the digitised stock into a database and providing access to it on an Internet portal also required the adoption of a special processing procedure.

Framework of shared leadership: Regarding the rules of cooperation, the winning contractor and the library devised a so-called Project Founding Document, which contained the procedure concerning shared work, rules of operation, the project schedule, scopes of responsibility and authority relating to organisational structure, the order of procedure relating to management tasks, and the order of the documentation of shared work.

For a quick follow-up of digitization tasks and the work of the individual professional teams, and to make decisions that influence operational work, the library and the contractor held a so-called Project Managers’ Meeting on a weekly basis. In order to store and ensure the retrievability of electronic and paper documents prepared in the course of the project, a common document managing system, a program called Therefore, was introduced for the purpose of handling the different versions of working documents, in which we used common unified templates (memorandum, certificate of delivery and receipt, certificate of performance, status report, change management template).

Common preparatory tasks: Before the beginning of digitization, the library and the contractor conducted detailed negotiations related to each document group.
We conducted negotiations concerning the scanning requirements: resolution, sizing of margins, the page orientation of volumes, the methodology of making thumbnail images, the application of the colour scale; the handling of pages of varying size; the image correcting procedure, cropping, the elimination of the yellow effect originating from the acidity of pages; optical character recognition (OCR), individual page file names.
Further topics for negotiations: the structure of volumes, the data from condition assessment sheets: single-volume and multi-volume works; front cover, table of contents, appendices, system of indexes (subject index, geographical index, name index, rule of law index). We conducted separate negotiations about the structure and data of periodicals: articles, front page, annual table of contents, issue numbers, cover, columns, bookbinding units, volumes; about gazettes: front page, annual table of contents, issue numbers, cover, bookbinding units, volumes.
The library prepared a test package, a proportionate amount of each document group. Preliminary testing lasted for one month. The process structure for digitization was ready.

Place of digitization: With regard to the value, uniqueness, and, in many cases, irreplaceability of the books selected for digitization, and to the conservation of the library stock, during the preparatory phase we decided to digitise the volumes on our premises. Accordingly, digitization and the fulfilment of the contractor’s related background tasks took place in the Parliament building, in rooms separated for this purpose on a site divided from the library premises and provided to the contractor. Following the pilot run, the company doing the digitization organised and performed its tasks on a three-shift schedule.

Conservation of holdings: For the sake of conserving and protecting its holdings, the library prepared an information leaflet about the conservation of library holdings, which included basic facts concerning the storage, carriage, and turning of the pages of volumes.

Last modified on Friday, 30 November 2012 15:56