Speed The Plow Beinecke

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Speaker Slides from Chris Edwards from The Beinecke Library at Yale University for Speed the Plow: Rapid Capture Digital Workflow, MCN 2009

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Speed The Plow Beinecke

  1. 1. YALE UNIVERSITY Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Speed the Plow: Rapid Capture Digital Workflow The Rapid Imaging Program in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Tuesday, November 17, 2009 My name is Chris Edwards, Digital Studio Production Manager at Yale Universityʼs Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
  2. 2. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library was built in 1963, houses several million volumes and is the largest collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Americas and one of the largest in the world. In addition to its general collection of rare books and manuscripts, the library houses the Yale Collection of American Literature, German Literature, Western Americana, and the Osborn Collection a collection of British literature written between the 16th and 19th century. We have been digitizing in-house since 1998, with current, more modern version of the Digital Studio at the Beinecke in operation since January, 2000.
  3. 3. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library The Issues: • High demand for digital surrogates of materials for research purposes • Rare Books and Manuscripts are generally too fragile or valuable for traditional Mass Digitization • Limited (expensive) digitization choices offered to patrons faculty and staff • High amount of handling of popular items • Several large collections in the cue for digitization • Economic climate Tuesday, November 17, 2009 How did we know we needed a custom and Rapid Imaging Solution High demand for digital surrogates of materials for research purposes – since 2005 when we began specifically tracking Patron orders, the studio has created 40,000 scans specifically in response to patron requests. 17,000 of those were created on the RIP in the last year. Rare Books and Manuscripts are generally too fragile or valuable for traditional Mass Digitization – This is largely self- explanatory, the Beinecke does not participate in any of the traditional mass digitization initiatives on campus but still has a need for a high level of digitization. Limited (expensive) digitization choices offered to Patrons, faculty and staff – Prior to our Rapid Imaging initiative, Beinecke only offered photocopys of selected material for 35 cents or high resolution images for $15 per scan. Your choice was one or the other. High amount of handling of popular items – In 2006 the personal correspondence between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia Okeefe were unsealed and became available for study. These were and are wildly popular but the popularity came at a price. Material was quickly damaged or misfiled. For most researchers, A digital surrogate would suffice for their purposes. Several large collections in the cue for digitization - steiglitz okeefe correspondence 29000 scans Boswell Papers 22000 Erdoes Native American Rights Movement photos 35000 Economic Climate – The Beinecke saw this as an opportunity to provide more research material online and to provide more material to researchers who were less likely to be able to visit the Beinecke in person.
  4. 4. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library The Solution: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 To accommodate the requests of Beinecke Library patrons, the needs of the curatorial staff and to provide support for Yale students and faculty, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has implemented a Rapid Imaging Program – referred to internally as the RIP. The RIP project provides medium resolution “discovery Images” suitable for online research, web use, classroom use, or Powerpoint. The program was launched in September of 2008 and has produced over 65000 images in that time. A discovery image is defined in our institution as a lower resolution image, 1536 pixels at its widest dimension to be delivered to the Patron or posted on the Beinecke website. Discovery images are not suitable for print purposes. 1536 Pixels is the largest size of jpeg we currently display on our website. When considering what we wanted from the RIP, we decided to consider the end use as opposed to the photograph it once photograph it large mindset that is used with our high-resolution equipment. The decision was made to offer inexpensive lower resolution scans to satisfy the demand for simple scholarly uses. The difference between RIP images and full TIFF images • File size • Automation • Batch color editing • JP2 as archival copy
  5. 5. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Hardware •Canon EOS 1-DS Mark III Rapid Imaging Program •Canon EF 24-70 f 2.8 Lens (RIP) •Bencher Copymate II w/2, 36 watt, 5200K Fluorescent Lamps •Dell Latitude D830 Core 2 Duo •LaCie 2 Terabyte External Hard Drive w/USB 2.0 •Uline Wire Utility Cart, 36w x 24d x 39h Software •Canon EOS Utility •Canon Digital Photo Professional RAW Conversion Software •Adobe CS3 w/Bridge and Camera RAW Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The RIP was originally intended to be a low volume, movable platform made to create surrogates mainly for patrons, operating only a few hours a week and to be moved to where ever the material was. Almost immediately, the RIP changed to an all day, every day station and is a permanent fixture in the studio, not roving to the material. Shortly after its implementation the primary focus of the RIPʼs workflow shifted from patron material to curator driven collection based photography. Speak to Tech Data on screen Itʼs important to note that we use a 24-70mm lens with our camera. We found that the slight loss of image sharpness, which a zoom lens brings gives us a much faster capture rate because we donʼt have to move the camera to frame an image.
  6. 6. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library RIP The RIP is currently deployed in the 400 square foot digital studio at the Beinecke Library Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The RIPʼs small foot print allows for its use in our small, 400 square foot studio. This actually helps productivity because of its close proximity to cataloged material and helps keep the photographer working on the station engaged with their fellow employees and not isolated. With regards to staffing, Anecdotally I have been told that some institutions have had trouble either finding staff for a station such as this, or have experienced pushback from existing staff asked to operate a rapid capture station. When RIP was instituted, the Beinecke Library did not have the budget for Rapid Imaging specific staff. To operate this station we use our existing staff of 3 “senior photographers”. We rotate the photographers around the studio, from the high-resolution camera, to the flatbed scanner to the Rapid Imaging station. This prevents them from burning out, allows variety in their day, ensures cross training and prevents specialization. The photographers have indicated that while the Rapid Imaging station isnʼt always their favorite station to work due to its high volume throughput and its simplified workflow, they recognize its use and importance to the institution. It is felt that as long as the RIP isnʼt expanded to the exclusion of all other workflows and that they continue to rotate in and out of the Rapid Imaging station it is an acceptable working environment.
  7. 7. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Keeping the RIP busy: Patron vs Curator RIP Patron RIP Curator Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The RIP is operated generally 5 days a week, unless the photographic staff is working on higher priority projects using other equipment. 2 days a week the RIP is used for Patron Requests. Beinecke charges $1 per image to photograph any collection item a patron needs on the RIP . Items already photographed can be grabbed from our site for free. In the technical data package being made available from this discussion is a full workflow diagram that details the patron and curator process. This is also available for download on the Beinecke studio web site. 17000 RIP Patron Images Produced Up to 3 days a week, the RIP will create images where capturing collections in their entirety is the goal. The images shown, Okeefe Steiglitz correspondence of which there are 29000 scans is a perfect example of RIP Curator 48000 RIP Curator Images Produced
  8. 8. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Metrics of the Project • The RIP operated by existing photographic staff • Staff of 3 full time catalogers dedicated to creating metadata for material to be digitized • The RIP will produce 300-600 images per day • Has been in service since September 2008 and has created 65000 images in that time • The station cost $10000 for the total purchase • Rapid Imaging photographs cost $.50 to $1 each to create • All images created by the RIP process are posted to the Beinecke Digital Library Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Operated by existing professional photography staff Staff of 3 full time catalogers dedicated to creating metadata for material to be digitized The RIP will produce 300-600 images per day Has been in service since September 2008 and has created 65,000 images in that time The station cost $10000 for the total purchase Rapid Imaging photographs cost $.50 to $1 each to create All images created by the RIP process are posted to the Beinecke Digital Library. RIP images are shown side by side with high res images, though RIP images are designated low res in the thumbnail view.
  9. 9. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library RAW files converted to 8 bit RGB TIFF @ 350 dpi using Canon Digital Photo Professional Rapid Imaging Images batch edited for color correction in Photoshop and Automation cropping action applied Beinecke Generated IF DATA from RIP Tiffs compressed to JPEGs, JPEG2000s and data file created Tuesday, November 17, 2009 The image on the screen is just a small section of a complete workflow diagram that you will find in the PDF that is being provided from this talk. Auto file naming in canon software combined with all the cataloging being done ahead of time is a key to speed for us Shooting RAW Capturing color bar at beginning of day/project to allow for batch editing Convert using canon Digital Photo Professional which in our tests converted RAW files faster than Adobe Bridge Rotate and inspect in Bridge Auto Cropping action crops to image (one reason we shoot on a black bkgrnd) Custom software creates multiple sizes of Jpegs and JP2
  10. 10. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Conclusions and Findings • Rapid Imaging is a productive and versatile tool but is not suitable for all end uses or materials • The greater your advanced preparation the higher your production totals will be • We would have bought a Canon 5D if we could have • Our Copy Stand is too small for the growing demand for service we are experiencing • The Rapid Imaging model is highly portable, collaboration with colleagues in other units, departments or institutions is extremely beneficial • Document and share your experience and process openly Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Rapid Imaging is a productive and versatile tool but is not suitable for all end uses or materials – The RIP is a tool like a hammer or screwdriver, it wont all uses all the time. This is not a silver bullet and likely shouldnʼt supplant all other digitization efforts in a studio. Perhaps the single most important part of our Rapid Imaging process is that we have a well defined end use of our files. Images created on the RIP are discovery images. Period. This ensures that everyone knows what they are getting and allows us to focus on the most important part of this project, Rapid Imaging. The greater your advanced preparation the higher your production totals will be This sounds simple but what allows us to create so many images in a day is that we have a cataloging staff who sorts, arranges, and creates metadata for all the material going to the RIP. This means all the photographer needs to do is to photograph the items in the order in which they were delivered to them. This leaves all their working time for photography. Would have bought a 5d if we could have – We purchased the 1ds mark III because at that time the 21 megapixel version of the 5D hadʼnt been released. The 1ds Mark III is a terrific camera but the 5D is 1/3 the price and would more than suffice for our purposes. Our copystand is too small for the growing demand for service we are experiencing - We spent a good piece of the budget on the camera, so we bought a less expensive stand. The stand we bought was perfectly fine for the material we imagined we would be using it for but when the demand increased, the scope of material increased. Buy the biggest best table/stand you can afford/fit you will use it. The Rapid Imaging model is highly portable, collaboration with colleagues in other units, departments or institutions is extremely beneficial - John Ffrench, who is presenting next, borrowed from our RIP to set up the Rapid Imaging projects he is running. He and his staff in turn made several innovations and improved the automation processes that we use. We will be adopting many of these in the expanded version that we are planning for our studio now including using similar hardware. Proving that the same basic concept could be used successfully in both a library and a museum. Document and share your experience and process openly The next slide contains links including one to the Beinecke studio website, We believe in the full sharing of information. for full studio documentation and scripts to download visit us
  11. 11. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library Contact Info and Links • chris.edwards@yale.edu Beinecke Digital Studio Website: • http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/brbltda/ Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library • http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/index.html Yale Digital Coffee: • http://www.yale.edu/digitalcoffee/ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 chris.edwards@yale.edu - feel free to contact me with any questions or comments Beinecke Digital Studio Website – We believe in the full sharing of information. for full studio documentation and scripts to download visit us Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library – see our RIP images in action Yale Digital Coffee: - Keep up with what is happening in the Yale digitization community through a Photographerʼs discussion and information sharing group started by my fellow presenter John Ffrench of the Yale University Art Gallery, Melissa Fournier, Conference Publicity Chair (Yale Center for British Art) and myself There is lots of information to share on this site.

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