Tech Reflect is a platform for Digital & Web Services technicians to look-back on a particular project and share their experiences, thoughts, and lessons learned.
Last November, nearly a full run of 41 issues of It’s Only Rock N’ Roll (IORNR), an alternative San Antonio-focused, alternative punk and New Wave rock music magazine published from 1979 to 1982, were donated to The Wittliff Collections here at Texas State University, adding to the new Texas Music collecting scope of The Wittliff. The newspaper was a labor of love for its managing editor and publisher, music journalist Ron Young, who wrote for the San Antonio Light and San Antonio Express-News. For more information on Young and the newspaper, please see this 2017 article on the San Antonio Express News’s MySanAntonio.com and this 2016 article in the San Antonio Express News includes more information on the newspaper.
My primary tasks were:
- Handling with extreme care
- Photographing each page
- Post-processing and output
- Move files into the Wittliff Collections’ shared drive for ingest into institutional repository
When photographing exhibitions in the Wittliff Collections‘ Writer’s Room, our focus has been documenting the exhibit cases, as seen in this past blog post, but the recent Legends of Tejano Music exhibition had materials on display everywhere! While finalizing my documentation photographs, I decided to create a panorama from multiple images to better showcase the details along the back walls. Unfortunately, one of the photos had fallen from the wall between setup and capture of the best frame for part of my panorama. Surprisingly, the photograph landed in a lucky position and I was able to restore it to its proper location using Adobe Photoshop.
The Writer’s Room on the 7th floor of Alkek Library hosts semi-annual exhibits from the Wittliff Collections that are documented by Digital and Web Services. With five glassed-in wall cases and multiple light sources, the room is challenging to photograph! We photograph each case multiple times with a tripod-mounted camera while a sheet of black foam core is moved throughout the frame to flag, or block, the many reflections in the glass. These shots are digitally combined into a single image without distracting reflections.
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
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.