May 24 – 27, 2021
America/Chicago timezone

HTCondor in a Digitization Workflow : Helping Preserve Cultural Heritage

May 25, 2021, 2:20 PM



David Lamarche (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec)


Digitization is an important aspect of the preservation and promotion of heritage materials. Once physical documents are too fragile or damaged to manipulate, the digital copy often becomes the only version that is available to the public. The digitization workflow must produce files that reliably meet high standards.

The combination of cycle scavenging and distributed computing of HTCondor allows the digital collections team to complete tasks faster with a small pool of 50 available workstations. The team submits projects to HTCondor through a web server that automatically prepares the submit file and input list.

Each task launches a Java application that handles file verification and executes tools such as Tesseract (optical character recognition), FFmpeg (audio, video file conversion) or ImageMagick (image conversion). Once the project is complete, the web server prepares a report using custom exit codes and informs the owner.

After being processed through HTCondor, the files are ready to be preserved for future generations. The projects for which the institution has dissemination rights then become available through our web platform :

Primary author

David Lamarche (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec)

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