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Digitization at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library - A Case Study

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Presentations on digitization often focus on following best practices and standards, but rarely give you the "behind the scenes" view that many of us crave. See how the rubber meets the road at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library in this two-part case study series on digitization and metadata. In this session we'll discuss our equipment setup, material selection process, detailed workflows, and solutions for dealing with challenging materials. Additionally, you'll learn how our methods of documentation, collaboration, and philosophy keep the digitization machine running smoothly!

Learning Outcomes:
-- Discover how documentation and collaboration have averted digitization disasters.
-- Document work quickly and easily in OneNote, and share it with colleagues effortlessly.
-- Explore how workflows can be customized to match context.
-- Learn about the "fail fast and learn" approach and how to put it into practice.

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Digitization at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library - A Case Study

  1. 1. Digitization at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library - A Case Study Cliff Landis Digital Initiatives Librarian HBCU Library Alliance 2017-10-18
  2. 2. Introductions! ● Digital Initiatives Librarian ● Maintain digital collections and software ● Joined AUC RWWL in March 2017 ● Former Reference Librarian, Web Services Librarian, Taxonomist and Metadata Manager ● Recovering Perfectionist and Archivaholic ● Aspiring Systems Thinker (ala Gregory Bateson & Peter Senge) ● Obsession of the moment: Hügelkultur!
  3. 3. Challenging Materials: Gammon Composites ● Class photo composites for Gammon Theological Seminary ● Photographs pasted to a paperboard backing ● 23 total, 7 in fragile condition were outsourced and are available online ● Oversize material is larger than the planetary scanner bed ● Ripples throughout photos, causing reflections
  4. 4. “High-Quality” “Anti-Reflective”
  5. 5. Reflection: Position ● Green: Clear ● Red: Highlights ● Blue: Supports
  6. 6. High-Quality Centered: Reflection highlights Anti-Reflective Centered: “Water stain” at highlight edges High-Quality Off-Center: Clear
  7. 7. Challenging Materials: Gammon Composites ● Six “high-quality” scans for preservation (clear off-center portraits) ● Six “anti-reflective” scans used to create the final access image ● One final access image using Photoshop’s automated photomerge tool; functional and pragmatic ● No color patches ● Documentation!
  8. 8. Documentation
  9. 9. Documentation - Collaborative editing
  10. 10. Documentation - Version control
  11. 11. Documentation - Troubleshooting
  12. 12. Quick Quiz! Philosophy Which quote best represents your organization’s digitization philosophy? ❏"If you haven’t got the time to do it right, when will you find time to do it over?" ❏"More product, less process" ❏"Something is better than nothing" ❏[Wordless scream] https://pixabay.com/p-443127/
  13. 13. Philosophy ● More Product, Less Process ● Fail Fast & Learn ○ Test on small batches ○ Iterative trial-and-error (and error correction!) ○ Improve processes, document changes ○ Communicate, communicate, communicate! ● Collaboration is key ○ Brief bi-weekly meetings btw DSD & ARC ○ You’re both the customer and the provider ● Problems? Look for the gap in the information flow. ● We’re open to advice, so let me know if you see something out of place! https://www.flickr.com/photos/27892629@N04/15337913754/
  14. 14. Workflow - Big Picture
  15. 15. Digitization Request Form ● The form is the starting point for the conversation ● Requestor's Name ● Request Date ● Submission Deadline ● Purpose of Scan (patron request, project, web only, publication, other) ● Number of Images ● Resolution ● Mode (B&W, Color, other) ● Collection Name ● Collection Number ● Box number ● Folder number ● Image File Name (s) (if known) ● Item Title (if known) ● Item Date (if known) ● Special Requirements (Please include any additional information not included above)
  16. 16. Workflow - Patron Request ● Form submission - ARC ● Material delivery / check-out ● Interview ● Digitization ● Metadata ○ One-off - none ○ Collection material - minimum ● Quality Control ● Send link to material ● Record stats ● Material return / check-in
  17. 17. Workflow - Project ● Conversation ● Form submission - ARC, DSD, Admin, Grant Project Managers ● Material delivery / check-out ● Interview ○ Special requirements for digitization, metadata or storage ● Digitization ○ Sample set sent to requestor for review/QC ○ Progress reports ● Metadata ○ Collection material - minimum or as needed ○ A/V materials require more detail, such as creating time indexes ● Quality Control ● Send link to material ● Record stats ● Material return / check-in
  18. 18. Challenging Materials: Scrapbooks
  19. 19. Challenging Materials: Scrapbooks ● Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Scrapbooks ● Capturing both content and arrangement ● High use, very fragile material ● Content contains multi-page items that open like programs and cards 0001_20
  20. 20. 0001_20a 0001_20b 0001_20c
  21. 21. Equipment Print/Photo ● Flatbed Scanners - Epson 10000XL & 11000XL ● Planetary Scanner - Opus Bookeye 4 ● Sheet Feed Scanner - Fujitsu ScanSnap fi-6010N ● Printer - Epson SureColor P600 AV ● Apple Mac Pro Desktop ● Audio - TASCAM CD A550 ● VHS - JVC Super VHS ET ● Blu-ray - LG Networked BD53 ● Storage - Pegasus2 R6 ● Switch - Motu UltraLite MK3 Forensic ● Write Blocker - WiebeTech Forensic UltraDock ● Zip - Iomega Zip 250 ● Memory Card Reader ● 3.5 & 5.25 floppy readers
  22. 22. Software Bookeye Planetary Scanner ● Opus FreeFlow - capture original scans ● FastStone Photo Resizer - create access derivatives ● Photoshop - crop, deskew, histogram levels of access derivatives ● FastStone Photo Resizer - create web derivatives ● Excel - record metadata Epson Flatbed Scanners ● SilverFast - capture original scans ● FastStone Photo Resizer - create access derivatives ● Photoshop - crop, deskew, histogram levels of access derivatives ● FastStone Photo Resizer - create web derivatives ● Excel - record metadata
  23. 23. Quick Quiz! Materials Selection How do you prioritize materials selection for your digitization program? ❏Fragile materials first ❏Rare materials first ❏Heavily used materials first ❏High research value materials first ❏Requested materials first ❏Whatever the Dean/Department Head/Boss wants right now... https://pixabay.com/p-443127/
  24. 24. Material Selection
  25. 25. Material Selection - Grant-Funded Projects
  26. 26. Collaboration ● Both organizations and individual archivists have their own digitization and metadata philosophies. ● Digitization is both an art and a science. The art is in making decisions and troubleshooting. ● Keep communication clear: ○ Get as much information up-front as possible. ○ Ask questions. Lots of questions. So many questions! ○ Report progress concisely and regularly; keep the feedback loop small. ● In-person communication is best to avoid misunderstandings. ● Make room for regular re-training. ● All behavior makes sense in context, so be curious!
  27. 27. Questions? Cliff Landis jlandis@auctr.edu Please join us again on Wednesday, November 1, 2:00pm Josh Hogan, Metadata at AUCRWWL https://pixabay.com/en/thank-you-paper-message-note-391055/

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