Digitizing Departmental Records

Preparing to Scan

Before you scan your records, consider the life cycle of the record. Review the UTRRS to see what retention is required so you can ensure the imaged record you create will meet those requirements.

Records that must be retained for more than 10 years or have historical significance may require extra planning.

Requirements for Digitizing Master Records

These are the requirements outlined in the Digitized Master Records Acknowledgment. For more information about any of the the items listed on this page, please see the Acknowledgment or contact us at rims@austin.utexas.edu.

Technical Requirements

  • Digitized records must be individually retrievable and readable for as long as the records are retained

Quality Assurance

  • Each imaged record must be inspected by at least one person to ensure that the image is legible, complete, and accurate
  • It must be verified that indexing information matches the digitized record
  • Have a procedure in place for reimaging a record if verification shows any discrepancies
  • The original hard copy may be destroyed after these verifications have been completed
  • Review your digitized records annually to ensure the files are still viable 

Resolution Settings

  • Records must be digitized at a resolution such that all of the content is legible, but 300 dpi is recommended for documents that contain type font of six point or larger
  • For documents with a type font smaller than six point, scanning resolution must be adequate to ensure that no detail is lost

Output Review

  • You should check that the device that will be used to scan master records to a digital format produces clear and legible output of all font sizes included in the document.

File Formats

  • Records must be converted to either TIFF, PDF, or PDF/A
    • The preferred archival standard is TIFF
    • PDF or PDF/A is acceptable for records that do not require archival review or transfer
  • For more information consult with Records Management regarding selecting an appropriate file format

Documenting Digitizing Processes

  • Departments must provide documentation about their digitizing processes and quality assurance reviews to accept images as master records. There should be training or instructions provided for people authorized to perform scanning.

Retaining Digitized Records

  • The department must protect any confidential and controlled information that is digitized. This includes protecting the subsequent digital record.
  • The department must be able to implement a disposition hold of the digitized records in the event of any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, public information request, or other action involving the record.
  • Retain digitized records using a central server or approved Cloud storage solution such as UT Box or Sharepoint to prevent loss or premature destruction of records.

Metadata Requirements

Include the following fields:

  • UTRRS UT Item code
  • UTRRS Series title or description
  • Creator or contact/unit
  • Unique identifier
  • Archival Requirement Status
  • Destruction date or trigger

Metadata must be embedded in the records or provided in a separate file.