About the Project

The project

The Digitization Cost Calculator is a project undertaken by the Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group’s working group on Cost Assessment. The Cost Assessment working group’s tasks are to aggregate and make freely available a large set of data on the time it takes to perform various tasks involved in the digitization process, in order to assist organizations in digitization project planning and benchmarking. To that end, we have collaborated with DLF to build the Digitization Cost Calculator and draft best practices and guidelines for the collection of time data for various digitization processes, with the goal of standardizing collection of such data in the field as well as to guide data submissions to the Digitization Cost Calculator.

How does it work? Users like yourself donate time data about various aspects of digitization. Each individual submission can be viewed on the Raw Data page. After submissions have been reviewed by the working group and approved, the calculator normalizes each contribution so it can be combined into an average with other contributions for the same digitization process. To use the calculator, you input parameters (including the cost of staff, the quantity of material you will digitize, and the level at which you plan to conduct different digitization processes, and which staff will conduct which processes) and the calculator will produce an estimate of time and costs for each process of your digitization project.

The calculator does not save, share, or transmit any data that you input.

When calculating the “cost” for a salaried staff person, the calculator takes assumes a 40 hour work week and 52 weeks to the year. So the cost for two hours of work would be (salary/(52x40))x2 plus benefits.

Project Team

This list includes both current and past members of the DLF-AIG Cost Assessment working group.

  • Chrissy Rissmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara (project co-coordinator)
  • Sarah Severson, University of Alberta Libraries (project co-coordinator)
  • Joyce Chapman, Duke University Libraries (project founder)
  • Wayne Graham, CLIR (technical lead)
  • David Bliss, University of Texas at Austin
  • Greg Davis, Iowa State University
  • Jane Davis, Saint Louis Federal Reserve Bank
  • Ann Hanlon, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Deirdre Joyce, Syracuse University
  • Kinza Masood, University of Utah
  • Genya O’Gara, The Virtual Library of Virginia
  • Sarah Severson, McGill University Library
  • Emily Shaw, Ohio State University Libraries
  • Gabriella Williams, University of Miami
  • Shannon Willis, University of North Texas Libraries
  • Melissa Wisner, Yale University
  • Dan Zellner, Northwestern University

Contact us

Please contact dlf-calculator@lists.clir.org with any questions.

Contributing Institutions

Thank you to all of the institutions who have contributed data for past and present versions of the calculator! The Cost Calculator would not exist without the contributions from our community. Note that not all contributions are integrated into the current cost calculator due to issues with data definitions, methods for tracking data, and changing needs of the calculator.

  • American University
  • Capital Area District Libraries
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Center for Jewish History
  • Center for Western Studies, Augustana University
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • County of Los Angeles Public Library
  • Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University
  • Duke University Libraries
  • Harvard University
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Kansas State University Libraries
  • Licking County Records & Archives
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • McGill University Library
  • Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)
  • North Carolina Digital Heritage Center
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Northwestern University Libraries
  • Ohio History Connection
  • Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre
  • Smith College
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian Libraries
  • The Filson Historical Society
  • Triangle Research Libraries Network
  • University of Alabama Libraries
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries
  • University of Kansas Libraries
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Miami
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • University of Padua, Italy
  • University of Richmond Law Library
  • University of South Carolina Libraries
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • University of Utah
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wesleyan University
  • Wyoming State Archives