State Library of NSW - DAMsmart

“The State Library NSW engaged DAMsmart initially in 2014 for a pilot project digitising our at risk Oral History and Sound Recordings collection. DAMsmart not only demonstrated their excellent ability at professional standard digitisation for preservation but also were exceptional to work with. Due to the success of the pilot project the Library were pleased to engage DAMsmart for our mass digitisation project in 2015. This engagement required DAMsmart to digitise a large amount of collection material in a very short time frame. Not only did they effectively manage the high risk project, they were excellent in demonstrating their abilities to meet our project reporting and risk management requirements they also produced an extremely low rate of errors, all of which were expected in this environment.”

Scott Wajon, Manager, Digitisation, State Library of NSW


The State Library of NSW (SLNSW) is the premiere library for the people of NSW. It sits among the world’s great libraries; those that house the evidence of our society’s development and the unfolding stories of humanity. The SLNSW’s extraordinary collections document the heritage of Australia and Oceania; these collections are one of the State’s most valuable assets. Through the library building, preserving and delivering its collections, including today’s born digital materials, the Library enables Australians to explore our past and imagine our future.

Their challenge

In 2012, the SLNSW successfully secured substantial funding to embark on the Digital Excellence Program to digitise a range of collection items that are categorised as iconic, at risk and/or high-value. Incorporated into the Digital Excellence Program was the digitisation and preservation the Library’s significant oral history collection. The Library sought to develop a panel of specialist audio digitisation service providers to partner with, to digitise the audio holdings.

The collection

The collection contained over 3,800 items containing over 3330 cassette and more than 470 1/4-inch audiotapes.

How DAMsmart helped make the content accessible

SLNSW went to tender and appointed DAMsmart as a digitisation services partner.

We collaborated with the Library team to address project challenges and develop resolutions that were technically appropriate and compliant with the project specifications. We developed tailored audio digitisation workflows to facilitate the safe and professional digitisation of 1/4-inch audiotape and audiocassettes. The workflows incorporate multi-stream encoding to enable audio digitisation at scale.

Underpinning the encoding process are robust quality control programs including file-based monitoring as well as continuous operator monitoring of audio outputs. Conservation services were also delivered to rejuvenate media that was in suboptimal condition. Additionally, digital restoration services have been provided to enhance the quality of degraded media.

DAMsmart successfully digitised in excess of 3,800 audio cassettes and reels over four projects for the SLNSW, all preserved in line with the IASA TC-04 standard.


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