Digital imaging is an increasingly important technique in any electronic library project. It is beginning to provide the solutions to preservation and access problems, and is on the agenda for work with special collections. The public library sector has begun to explore the potential of digitizing collections as a method of providing wider access to their customers, investigating new interactive ways of promoting library services, and supporting learning in the community. This introductory practioner's guide to digital imaging provides a practical approach to undertaking a digitization project, looking at every stage involved in the process for printed text, photographs, illustrations, maps and newspapers. It discusses the options and the preservation and access issues involved at each stage, by asking: what is digitization?; why digitize?; and what are the factors determining digital image quality?