Goal not to digitize everything, or even a collection, but to build and enduring system and repository for adding images as desired or on-demand. Image Database designed as part of an IMLS grant. Additional instruction and documentation was added as part of this grant. Our online-database is a slightly customized version of this ASP application. The online image database is almost a by-product of this project, not the principle goal. The terminology and data are all working data created for internal use by our archives. (As a result, the user may find extraneous or inconsistent information) We feel that a casual browser is often at a loss, intimidated or may have difficulty putting a set of working images into context. So instead of choosing a “virtual exhibit’ or “database” interface we combined both.
Mainstreaming Digital Imaging: Missouri Botanical Garden Archives
Mainstreaming Digital Imaging: Missouri Botanical Garden Archives Andrew Colligan – ArchivistChris Freeland – Web Content Coordinator Doug Holland - Librarian 13 September 2002
Mainstreaming Digital Imaging: Missouri Botanical Garden Archives• To test best practices, establish procedures and build an architecture to “mainstream” image digitization in the Archives.• Develop documentation for a Dublin Core image database application available for free download from Missouri Botanical Garden.• To add interest and show practical applications of an image database by creating a web site that dynamically links to images from the database, I.e. exhibit style vs.database style.
• Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden holds the distinction of being the oldest botanical garden in the United States• The focus for this project was to present images of historical, scientific, and cultural significance in digital format to the public.• We have concentrated our initial efforts on our 19th and early 20th century images but over time will add images from all time periods, including contemporary.• The goal of this project was to develop a database, procedures and standards, which would provide a quality repository into which these images can be placed for recurring use.• Focus was placed on images in the glass plate negative format as well as images from our magic lantern slide collection.• Through the use of the digital format the purpose of this project is to increase public awareness and understanding of the role the Missouri Botanical Garden has played in the history of not only the city of St. Louis but the state of Missouri and beyond.
Equipment and Software UsedComputer:• Compaq Evo W4000 Workstation• Pentium 4, 1.8Ghz processor• 512MB of memory• 160GB hard drive space• DVD-CDR driveScanner:• Epson Expression 1680 Scanner with transparency adapter.Digital overhead camera:• Mamiya RZ67 Professional II• Mamiya Sekor 90mm f3.5 lens• Better Light Super6K digital camera backSoftware:• Adobe Photoshop 6.0• MrSID file compression software.
Image SpecificationsSpecifications for Glass Plate Negatives:• Resolution (average): 6800 pixels along long edge, resolution of 1020 dpi.Specifications for Magic Lantern Slides:• Resolution (average): 6000 pixels along long edge, resolution of 1600 dpi.Specifications for Photographs:• 4x5 - 6100 pixels along long edge, resolution of 1200 dpi.• 5x7 - 6800 pixels along long edge, resolution of 950 dpi.• 8x10 - 6500 pixels along long edge, resolution of 650 dpi.Specification for 35mm Color Slides:• Resolutions (average): 2200 pixels along long edge, resolution of 1600 dpi.
Why Dublin Core?• It’s flexible, easy to understand and is becoming widely adopted• Our existing database already had fields similar to DC elements• We had already developed a DC-based image database for another project. – wanted to create better documentation and make the database freely available from our site
Administrative and Structural Metadata• Administrative elements: – Original Image Creator (Pring, George H.) – Original Date Created (1890) – Contributor (Missouri Botanical Garden) – Publisher (Missouri Botanical Garden)• Structural Elements: – Object width (4 in.) – Object height (3.25 in.) – Condition of Original (Silvering, emulsion missing)
Indexing and access• Record-level access provided by Microsoft Access databases and scripts – Records were dumped from the existing Archive database on a network drive into our Dublin Core database on a web server – Active Server Pages (ASP) scripts were written to access records from the database on the web server
Flow of Data Existing Dublin Core Database Database On Extract records On Internal Web Network Server ASP Scripts s ser al U New LocImages Web Users
Access• Timeline – “Exhibit style” story + images
Why so many options?• Wanted to provide functionality and access to all levels of users: – Users who stumble onto our site and know nothing about the Garden TO – Users who know we have an image from 1890 of a woman playing violin while standing on a lily pad
Indexing by Search Engines• The “Browse by Subject” list was created so that search engines could index all of our subject headings – Doing a Google search for “Sappington, John, 1776-1856” returns our site:
Digital Image Editing• Majority of images were taken from glass plate negatives.• Images were corrected for brightness, color and contrast.• Very little correction of other blemishes. Presented images as artifacts. Easier to remove imperfections, than put them back.• Saved on CD as TIFF. Three derivative images made. One thumbnail JPEG 145x200, one JPEG (600 x 435) and one MrSID.
Timeline• Instructional and simplified portal into the database.• Project historian was hired to research and write the copy at a level approachable by 6th to 12th grade students.• Attempted to accommodate multiple interest levels.• Extensible.
Future of Project• Continue to add images.• Waiting for institutional decision on image management.• Expand current content.• Move timeline and image database content forward in time.
Project Contributors:• Andrew Colligan, Archivist for the Garden, was responsible for content selection, scanning of images, and providing image descriptions.• Chris Freeland was responsible for web design, display, ASP programming, and project development.• Doug Holland acted in the capacity of project management supervisor overseeing grant funding and project development.• Wendy Westmoreland assisted in the scanning of images, editing, and creating derivative images for the web site.• Joe Ditto assisted in database creation, migration, and implementation.• Kent Bunting provided the written history for the main web page and time line.• Fred Keusenkothen assisted in the scanning of oversize materials.• Leslie Miller assisted in image editing and color correction for web display.