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By : Shrikant Chaudhari, Sr Sub Editor/Sr Reporter, TOI
Industry : Publishing Functional Area : Gadgets
Activity:  0 comments  323 views  last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000
Here are certain best practices for " for libraries, archives, and museums who wish to create digital representations of parts of their collections.Because image capture capabilities are changing so rapidly, I chose to divide the "best practices" discussion into two parts: general recommendations that should apply to many different types of objects over a prolonged period of time, and specific minimum recommendations that take into consideration technical capabilities....

General best practices are..

  • Plan image capture projects with a goal of long-term access to the digital materials created
  • Think about users (and potential users), uses, and type of material/collection
  • Scan at the highest quality you can possibly justify based on potential users/uses/material.  Err on the side of quality.
  • Do not let today’s delivery limitations influence your scanning file sizes; understand the difference between digital masters and derivative files used for delivery
  • Many documents which appear to be bitonal actually are better represented with grayscale scans; some documents that appear to be grayscale are better represented in color
  • Include grayscale target, standard color patches, and ruler in the scan
  • Use objective measurements to determine scanner settings (do NOT attempt to make the image good on your particular monitor or use image processing to color correct)
  • Don’t use compression for digital masters
  • Store in a common (standardized) file format
  • Capture as much metadata as is reasonably possible (including metadata about the scanning process itself)

Digital capture of faded documents presents many of the same challenges as scanning faded slides: is the objective to show the appearance of the document in its present condition, to make it maximally legible, or perhaps to depict it as we imagine it appeared as new? Ordinarily the digital master would be made to depict the document as it exists, and the master would then be processed to create the legible or "reconstructed" derivatives.

However, in some situations faded information may be better captured using extreme, non-realistic means such as narrow-band light filters, or invisible wavelengths such as infrared. In these cases, multiple captures and multiple digital masters may be appropriate.



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