How is TRAIL content acquired, and how can I contribute?
Can I contribute to TRAIL?
Any library or other organization may contribute content that the TRAIL Collections Working Group has designated as a priority for digitization. We ask that all donating libraries be aware of the depository status of their collections and to notify their regional depositories as appropriate for permission. TRAIL has several expert documents librarians, including two that head up regional collections, who would be more than willing to discuss this status issue and help you with the appropriate decisions.
Do content contributor sign an agreement or memorandum of understanding with the TRAIL project?
Currently, we generally work under a 'gentlemen's agreement'. We are willing to take what you no longer want in your collection that fits our needs. We will put appropriate acknowledgments on our Web site and the project Web site, and send appropriate thank-you letters for your files.
What do content contributors need to do before they send materials?
TRAIL's central processing unit takes care of all cataloging and metadata issues, so there is no need for the contributing library to do any additional cataloging prior to sending the materials. However, if the contributing library is creating any type of electronic list for deaccession or shipping (or is able to do so easily), we would be pleased to have a copy of that digital file to help us create our master shipping list.
What costs are involved for content contributors? Shipping? Any estimates based on a certain amount?
If you are contributing small amounts of materials, we ask that you cover the shipping costs. Otherwise, arrangements can be made for TRAIL members to have shipping costs covered. We use a FedEx account that is charged directly to TRAIL for these shipments.
Are there any requirements about the condition of the material we donate to the project? Will they be rejected?
So far, we are very pleased with the scanning results; even materials with bad bleedthrough and brittle paper are scanning well. As a contributing library, you would not be responsible for reviewing the materials, other than to confirm the original document. The processing library or TRAIL's central processing unit will review materials for items that need special processing, including fold-outs, unusually worn items, etc.
Our biggest issue currently is the binding of the material. We are able to take only individually bound materials or debound sets for immediate processing. We have identified a debinding operation, but are finding that the materials are so different that an automated debinding process doesn't work. So when we receive offers of donations, we are most interested in unbound material.