Serpens for Kepler
dLab is a robust, flexible and extendible system for digitisation process management. It makes it easy to organise mass digitisation workflow, help its users to focus on assigned activities and provide means to perform advanced monitoring via the reporting system. dLab can communicate with external tools to perform various processes, including text recognition (OCR), data conversion or data ingest related to a digital library or the long-term preservation system.
Digitisation is one of the most important activities attached to cultural heritage and memory institutions. dLab system has been designed to support this kind of projects – related to digitisation, preservation and online accessibility of digital objects. In its core assumptions dLab enables digitisation projects to:
- Help staff in day-to-day duties, e.g. using automated tools to increase digitization process efficiency or quality of results,
- Simplify communication within staff members,
- Define alternative workflows for different types of data, i.e. who, when, what and in what order should perform,
- Assign employees and make them responsible for specific activities in the digitisation workflow.
The key aim of dLab is a fully professional and automated execution environment for digitisation projects that are performed in the context of scientific and cultural heritage objects. This aim is achieved through strict cooperation with the end users, and the results are deployed within Polish digital libraries infrastructure in the PIONIER network.
dLab was deployed for the first time in the Digital Repository of Scientific Institutes (http://rcin.org.pl/). This repository is developed by 16 scientific institutions from Poland to publish digital objects related to their research work.
dLab is currently used by several dozens of institutions from Poland. It covers various digitization workflows, which are executed in diverse hardware and software environments. dLab is used to serve digitization workflows related to textual documents, audiovisual content as well as digital images. dLab is also integrated with various tools that support specific areas in the digitization and preservation processes, e.g. data conversion, normalization or quality assurance.
In dLab there are several important elements that users work with:
- Task – the basic element in dLab system. Task is composed of activities to be executed in the scope of digitization process related to particular object (e.g. book, newspaper issue, audio or video recording). The object is understood as an element, which after digitization becomes a digital object,
- Activity – part of the task, which identifies certain action/operation to be executed in scope of the whole digitization task. The activity can be executed by authorized dLab user (human) or automated tool (piece of software),
- Tasks group – it was introduced to enable grouping of tasks, which during the execution of certain activities should be treated as a whole. For example sending several dozens of tasks (e.g. books) to digitisation center should be done for all tasks at once – it is a waste of time to execute such an activity for each task separately. In the default configuration of dLab system there are two types of groups:
- Block – represents so called bound periodical or bound books,
- Shipping list – it is a group of tasks, which needs to be transported from the institution to digitization center, and then back from the digitization center to the institution.
Additionally, dLab manages so-called working space – the storage space for all files created during digitization of objects. These can be master files, their optimized/production or presentation versions.
dLab system itself is an innovative solution in the context of professional and automated digitisation workflows. It enables digitization projects to introduce cutting edge technologies in all its aspects, including data conversion, quality assurance as well as optimization of data processing and workflows execution.