We recently investigated how long exposures during digitization might be affected by different physical locations. We tested 4 locations and 2 shutter speeds to capture the blur induced by walking heavily around the copy stand during exposure.
The 4 areas tested were:
- Concrete Foundation at the ARC
- 7th floor of Alkek Library in the Corner of the Building
- 7th floor of Alkek Library in the Center of the Building
- 2nd floor of Alkek Library on a Raised Floor installed over carpet for data & power lines
We tested 2 shutter speeds that are representative of those we use to digitize film negatives using Artograph LightPad Pros:
- 1/10th of a second
- 1 second
I’m currently sitting in front of one of our Windows 10 computers that does not have Cygwin or Git BASH installed so there’s no way for me to quickly rename TIFF files from command-line like I am used to . . . enter Windows PowerShell!
I need to rename the files according to the formula <filename_stub>_<###>.tif such that a file like SMDR_1950s-SF-37_May-17-2017_12-51-19.tif becomes SMDR_1950s-37_001.tif. In this case, the <filename_stub> is SMDR_1950s-37 and <###> is 001.
So I wrote a little Windows PowerShell script to help out.
Erin and I have had a blast visiting the Wittliff Collections on the 7th floor of Alkek Library while we photographed Cabeza de Vaca’s La Relación this week.
Digital & Web Services is partnering with the Wittliff Collections for a forthcoming update to the current online exhibit.
Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos I made while we worked today.
This post builds on my last one: Searching the Library of Congress with Python and their new JSON API, which is why I’ve added Part 2 to the end of the title. Before we dive back into the Library of Congress‘s JSON API, some housekeeping items:
- Even though the Library of Congress’s website is loc.gov, the abbreviation for Library of Congress is LC
- I tried to find a press-ready image of NBC‘s old The More You Know logo I could add here, but
- the updated logo doesn’t make me hear the jingle in my head
- I did find Megan Garber‘s 2014 article covering the PSA series for The Atlantic that has some classic video I enjoyed
- As of October 2017, LC has expressly stated in a disclaimer that their JSON API is a work in progress. Use at your own risk!! We might (will likely) change this!
Recap on Stryker’s Negatives Project
I recently came across Michael Bennett‘s article Countering Stryker’s Punch: Algorithmically Filling the Black Hole in the latest edition of code4lib: <– GREAT STUFF!
He’s using Adobe Photoshop and GIMP to digitally restore blank areas in images due to a hole punch having been taken to the physical negative.
Use the Library of Congress’s JSON API to download all of the hole punch images and their associated metadata.
I recently read Michael J. Bennett‘s article, Countering Stryker’s Punch: Algorithmically Filling the Black Hole, in the latest edition of code4lib and wow, great stuff!
Bennett is comparing Adobe Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill tool and a GIMP technique I haven’t seen before as part of a workflow to digitally restore areas in photographs with no picture due to a hole punch having been taken to the physical negative. Part of Roy Stryker’s legacy at the FSA. You can read more about the negatives in Bennett’s article, this recent feature by Alan Taylor in The Atlantic and in Eric Banks’s review of what sounds like an amazing gallery show by William E. Jones in NY in 2010 in The Paris Review.
Library of Congress Search Results
I have been dipping my toes into computer vision recently and thought expanding upon Bennett’s work seems a good and educating challenge. A quick search at the Library of Congress returns nearly 2,500 results so this would also be a pretty good-sized data set to work on for a beginner with a bunch of exceptions and tweaking for edge-cases, but also a LOT of images and metadata to gather!
Top row: SMDR_1950s-SF-11_May 16 2017_13-38-29, SMDR_1930s-56_027 Bottom row: SMDR_1940s50s-88_001, SMDR_1930s-58_004, SMDR_1930s-26_016
In January of 2016 University Archives received an estimated 800,000 photo negatives, transparent strips of film that depict an image with the colors inverted, from the San Marcos Daily Record. This collection contains images spanning from the 1930s to the 2000s. The negatives consist of a mixture of nitrate and safety film. Nitrate film, a flexible, plastic film base, was created in the late 1800s as a replacement to glass plates and safety film was created as a substitute for nitrate. Nitrate film is the same film used in motion pictures which caused many devastating fires during film screenings in the early 1900s. This film becomes less stable and more likely to auto-ignite as it deteriorates. Safety film, as the name suggests, is much safer to use and store, however, the film still degrades over time.
Texas State University has recently completed building an Archives & Research Center which will serve as an offsite storage facility for collections. In preparation, units have been weeding the collection and identifying items to be moved offsite.
The old backup microfiche copy of the library online catalog is one such collection identified for weeding.
This unique project brought together specialists in GIS, web development, and digitization to create an interactive website based on Dick J. Reavis ’s 1987 year long journey driving every highway in Texas.
Dick J. Reavis is the award-winning author of seven books, including The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation; If White Kids Die: Memories of a Civil Rights Movement Volunteer; Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers and more. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Senior Editor at Texas Monthly, and a finalist for a National Magazine Award. He is now Emeritus Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University. While on assignment for Texas Monthly in the late 1980s, Mr. Reavis got lost and pulled from his glove box his official Texas Highway map. Looking at the map, the thought occurred to him, “there sure are a lot of roads on that map … I wonder if anyone has ever driven them all.” He decided he would try.
In a previous post I discussed a project to digitize and create an exhibit related to the history of Aquarena Springs. Entitled The “History of Spring Lake”, the online exhibit is now available. Only a portion of the archives’ materials are included in this exhibit.
This “History of Spring Lake” exhibit was initially planned and constructed by Jason Crouch, a Graduate Student in the Public History Program at the Texas State University Center for Texas Public History. Digitization support was provided by Digital Media Specialist, Jeremy Moore. Programming support and customization of the Omeka site was provided by Jason Long. Additional support provided by Todd Peters, Head, Digital & Web Services.
This exhibit was edited and revised to feature a variety of primary source materials from the University Archives. The purpose of this exhibit is to provide a brief history of Spring Lake; it is not meant to be an exhaustive history of the people, places, or details.
The University Archives would like to thank Anna Huff and John Fletcher for providing content representing The Meadows Center, as well as the local repositories and local collections that allowed us to feature their materials in this exhibit.
We recently completed a fun project that is notable for a few reasons. The first is because the subject of the project was creating on online exhibit on the making of Severo Perez’s beautiful film, … and the earth did not swallow him, based on Tomás Rivera’s classic 1971 Chicano novel, …y no se lo tragó la tierra, which is a semi-autobiographical novel that recounts the life of workers and families of the migrant camps where his family stayed while doing farm work. In 1995 Severo Perez wrote an English screenplay, using his own translation, produced, and directed a film version of the novel. The film was well received and received critical acclaim and several film awards.