Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the advantages and disadvantages to primarily utilizing undergraduate student volunteers for a long-term digitization project and to discuss methods to mitigate the disadvantages of student volunteer work. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a case study of the use of student volunteers for the Historical Campus Newspaper Digitization Project at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Findings: This paper describes the process of recruiting, training and managing student volunteers for a digitization project. Both advantages and disadvantages to student volunteer work are discussed, including possible steps to mitigate the disadvantages of student volunteers. Research limitations/implications: This paper is limited to one institution’s experience utilizing student volunteers on one digitization project. Practical implications: Librarians and archivists interested in new staffing methods for digitization projects can utilize this paper to better understand the benefits and costs to student volunteer labor before putting volunteer projects into practice. Originality/value: This paper presents a unique case study of a digitization project staffed primarily with undergraduate student volunteers in an American academic library and archive.
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