spobooks5621225.0001.001 in
    Economies of Scale

    The ECO project scanned a larger number of titles and images than the projects at Yale University and Cornell University. The ECO project scanned 3,308 titles compared to the 1,270 titles scanned at Cornell or the 2,000 titles scanned at Yale. Table 15.6 compares fixed, variable, and total cost estimates for the three projects.

    Table 15.6: Digital Project Average Cost Comparisons
    Annual fixed project costs (equipment & salaries) Per image variable cost estimates Total Cost Estimate Extras Project size
    Yale University Project Open Book (film to digital, 1994/95, marginal cost estimate) $142,420 $0.182 (based on 600 volumes timed) $221,177 432,000 images; 2,000 volumes
    Cornell University (paper to digital to COM, 1994/96, marginal cost estimate) $27,931

    $0.319 manual

    $0.288 auto (150 volumes timed)

    $197,275 manual

    $183,353 auto

    $80,417 (COM costs)

    450,000 images

    1,270 volumes

    Early Canadiana Online (fiche to digital, 1998/99, average cost estimate) $161,239 $0.674 (digitization contract) $600,787

    $159,098 (OCR)

    $21,053 (space)

    651,742 images

    3,308 titles

    The variable cost estimates in Table 15.6 for the ECO project include only the cost of scanning the images. OCR, space, and other salary costs contribute to total costs. For comparison with the Yale and Cornell studies, however, the vendor's cost of providing digital access may be more relevant. If texts were digitized without OCR then the additional cost would be $0.674CD per page. The relative costs and size of the three projects are shown in Table 15.7 and Figure 15.4.

    Figures 15.4 illustrates the increase in cost per image and cost per title between the three projects. This may show diseconomies of scale, i.e. an increasing average cost as output increases. Larger projects may require more staff or have a greater complexity of task that results in higher costs per unit. However, much of the difference shown may simply be the result of different methods of estimating costs.

    Table 15.7: Digital Project Average Cost Comparisons
    Number of images Cost/image Number of titles Cost/title
    Yale University (fiche to digital, 1994/95, marginal cost est.) 432,000 $0.51 2,000 $111
    Cornell University (paper to digital to COM, 1994/96, marginal cost est.) 450,000 $0.42 1,270 $155
    CIHM Early Canadiana Online (fiche to digital, 1998/99, average cost est.) 651,742 $0.92 3,308 $182
    Figure 15.4: Project Cost Comparisons by Number of Images and VolumesFigure 15.4: Project Cost Comparisons by Number of Images and Volumes