The Digital Imaging unit has been a part of the OSU Libraries since November 2005. I’ve always felt lucky that it was established within the Preservation department, which is also home to the Conservation unit. Conservators repair, stabilize, rebuild, and restore books, manuscripts, artifacts and other cultural heritage materials. Although it might not be obvious at first, physical conservation of objects is often crucial to successful digitization.
Conservation treatment enables long-term preservation of items. It also makes access to the items easier, including digital access. For instance, producing a readable digital version of this newspaper from 1929 would be impossible in its initial state. But after repair with Japanese heat-set tissue, it can be digitized and shared online.