The Freedman Center was established in 2005 with the vision that one of its important functions would be to assist in the conversion and shepherding of content from the analog world into the digital world. A variety of functions have been proposed for how the Freedman Center might do this, outside of the purely mechanical functions that it already supports with existing equipment: that is, programmatic features. Such service features would include a Scholarly Communication Service, a Copyright Service, as well as Metadata Creation and Support. Such features are being considered for future Freedman Center developments but do not currently exist. Currently, the Freedman Center focuses on advising, through the Creative Director of New Media and Managing Librarian, as well as administrative responsibility for the Planetary Scanner (described below).
In late 2007, the Managing Librarian of the Freedman Center took over duties as the Head of Digital Library Programs for the Kelvin Smith Library. This move represents a solidification of the relationship between the Freedman Center and Digital Library initiatives. It is likely in the future that the Freedman Center will function in a more transformative capacity in terms of the content flow to Digital Case. Already, the Freedman Center has actively supported the Center for Policy Studies in its participation with the University Channel through Princeton University. This support included the selection, acquisition, and instruction in the use of audio recording equipment for program recording--programs that were eventually deposited into Digital Case. As well, the Freedman Center played a significant role in the conversion of the United Nations Commission of Experts for the Investigation of Atrocities in the Former Yugoslavia Archives from paper to digital copy. It is expected that the role of the Freedman Center in Digital Library projects will dramatically increase in the future.
The Freedman Center plays a significant role in Digital Library Programs in that it provides the physical space, physical tools, and knowledge necessary to transition analog and print materials into the digital realm. Foremost amongst the many tools available through the Freedman Center, and relevant to Digital Library Programs, is the Planetary Scanner. This scanner, also known as the AIAXact High Resolution Digital Reprographic Workstation, is comprised of a 6,000 x 8,000 pixel tri-linear CCD array (48 MP) BetterLight Digital Camera Back attached to a modififed Linhof 4x5 medium format camera with a Rodenstock APO lens. The scan unit is attached to a 60" motorized column that lets the operator adjust the camera position for height and focus. Needless to say, the image quality is stunning.