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Digitisation front runners in Africa team up with firstcoast to preserve the future of the past

Digitisation in archives and libraries is currently a buzz in the academic, library and archive environments. Digital preservation of our cultural and scientific heritage is among the most important present-day and future tasks facing society as a whole.

Africa’s front runners in these digital initiatives, such as; The University of Witwatersrand, UNISA, University of Botswana, The National Library of South Africa, The Western Cape Government Archives, The Africana Library in Kimberley, The University of Stellenbosch, The Department of Defence and The Digitisation project for the Deeds Office run by Gijima, to mention a few, has all invested in Zeutschel overhead scanners and related products that falls under the umbrella of the product range of firstcoast, an IT company who has been specialising in paperfree digital solutions for the past 14 years.

Zeutschel scanners and the OSCAR suite of related software and management tools is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading technologies, when it comes to digitisation of libraries and archive collections. The above mentioned African institutions has now joined the ranks of institutions such as; The Royal Library of The Netherlands, The British National Library, The Berlin State Library, The US National Archives & Records Administration, The National Library of New Zealand,  The Smithsonian Institution’s archives of American art and several more leading organizations all over the world who has invested in Zeutschel technology as the preferred quality product for preserving the past in the digital age.



Books, magazines historical documents and artifacts come in hugely different mediums, colours, shapes and sizes; for libraries, archives and museums, digitisation of these stocks is proving to be a challenge. When setting up and investing in a suitable digitisation platform; the type of technology to be used is an instrumental part of the process. firstcoast has invested an enormous amount of time and money in research, with the aim to bring best practice and technology, benchmarked on international standards, to South Africa and Africa as a whole. firstcoast established themselves as part of an international community of digitisation experts. It is important that a supplier to this market have the necessary knowledge and understanding to pin down the key functionalities and quality features of the digitisation requirements that Customers have, and prevent them from making bad investments.”

To be the partner of choice who can assist organisations in their complete requirement; is our mission. We are excited to be involved in the process of unlocking the valuable knowledge that resides in so many collections, which are not currently accessible by the huge potential of a digital market,” says Herman Crowther; Managing Director of firstcoast.

firstcoast are able to provide solutions through Zeutschel and OSCAR suite of management tools, that will allow users to manage their digitisation projects from inventory creation, through capture and ultimately delivery for user consumption.  Amongst other things, the high-quality output data resulting from the Zeutschel scan processes can be used as a basis for long-term preservation or for handoff to the workflow system for the electronic document delivery.

A presentation platform allows the option to securely present digital media while conforming to copyright laws. For example; in the context of collections or secure preparation of in-house publications, technical documents, etc. firstcoast is able to connect its Zeutschel solutions to present copyright-free works, the company is also able to manage and present copyrighted works via the connection within the suite of management tools.

firstcoast is the official distributor of Zeutschel in Africa. The company is well established in the market as a leader in paperfree solutions for both preservation and commercial applications that has been implemented in several blue chip organisations.