Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Preserving for Digitization

As mentioned in a previous post, the library was awarded a grant to digitize collections relating to transport- ation systems in the Commonwealth. The first batch of materials are being scanned and the digital images created thus far are wonderful. The second batch of materials is being preserved prior to digitization.

One step that happens before items are sent to be digitized is making sure that the original materials look as good as they possibly can prior to going in front of the camera. Recently I have focused on preserving and preparing a batch of letters written in the 1800s that correspond to the railroad maps also being digitized. Above is a before-and-after shot of such a letter (click image to enlarge). While some staining remains, the original is greatly improved and as a result the digital image will be much easier for users to read. Stay tuned to the blog for more updates as this grant project progresses.

- Lacy Crews Stoneburner, Preservation Librarian