Next Steps for Highlander Center Archives by ITRL student Susan Williams
NEXT STEPS FOR HIGHLANDER CENTER ARCHIVES: OPENING A CAN OF DIGITAL WORMS SUSAN WILLIAMS IS 585 NOVEMBER 22, 2010
PROJECT BACKGROUNDHighlander Center is 77 years old and faces many issues relating to historical archival preservation. We maintain a small core collection at our center in New Market, TN. There are additional related archival materials at many other institutions.Since 2000, I have been the lead staff person working in this facility. In the last two years, we received a SNAP grant from the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board to support progress in our archives.
ARCHIVAL PROCESS Overall Archival Work Flow Chart – Very Helpful! From Archival Management Software: A Report for the Council on Library and Information Resources by Lisa Spiro January 2009
IMPROVEMENTS IN 2010 OUR ARCHIVAL ON-LINE WEBSITE Accessioning process Archival software – ARCHON – Getting materials organized and finding aids on-line**All this was done with lots of help! PROGRESS IN THE LAST YEAR!!!!
SIS FINAL PROJECTThere were two areas that were researched for this project. 1. The first goal was simple, to determine a new computer to buy for our library, with grant funds we received. 2. The second goal was to determine how to organize and digitize additional photographs in our collection. This turned out to be a complex can of worms, opening up questions about organization, digitization, storage, access, print longevity and copyright.
CHOOSING A NEW COMPUTER This effort was straightforward. Selection criteria included speed, multi-media needs, storage capacity and performance. We received $1000 for this purchase. Two options are possible, depending on whether additional funds are available for other components that are needed. The second choice is a Dell Studio XPS 8100, for $700.
PROVIDES MULTI-MEDIACOST $1028 FUNCTIONS, HIGHLY RATED BY CONSUMER REPORTSPREFERRED OPTION – HP PAVILION ELITE
ON TO THE ARCHIVAL CAN OF WORMS:There are two types of photographs in our archive currently that need attention. We have well over 1000 of each type:Developed photographs from 1980’s to early 2000’s“Born digital” photographs minimally organized on the serverNeed plan for: Organization, preservation, digitization, printing, storage, and copyright issues
ORGANIZATION OF PHOTOGRAPHSFirst Step - Determine how to organize: Program/educational effort Date Staff/participants Place (photographs are primarily taken at our workshop center, but do include photographs from communities and events elsewhere) ContentOverall arrangement – by education program, and then by date – This will allow photographs to be in related groupings.
NEXT STEPS:Developed photographs: --Work on a set of photographs that are organized now only in time order. Organize by program area. --Develop indexing database from this set. --Do basic identification.
PRESERVATION OF PHOTOGRAPHS Steps for preservation: Dispose of some photographs (blurry, duplicative shots, shots of the ceiling). Place photographs in archival envelopes, grouped in original groupings, with negatives in archival sleeves. Place in archival storage boxes. Place exceptional/valuable photographs in melinex or polyethylene sleeves.
DIGITIZATION OF PHOTOGRAPHSSet up processing manual for these photographs, with instructions for how to scan to TIF, what quality, and protocol for identification information. Digitization of important photographs should be in TIF format with the following quality: 8x10 photoes - no less than 600 DPI’s Smaller photos – 5x7 or less – 1000-1200 (less than 5 x 7) Slides – 1200-2400 Photoes of less importance can be scanned as jpegs, for the sake of limiting storage needs. Both TIF and JPEGS are considered at this point suitable formats in terms of longevity of format. Problem- TIF copies are very large files that require substantial storage space that we do not have at Highlander. Other problem: we have been digitizing photographs as we get requests but have been making jpegs or TIF’s at 300 dpi. We need to rescan valuable photographs.
STORAGE OPTIONS Digital photograph files require large amounts of storage space and ability to upgrade software/hardware with new formats. Options: Buy larger server Use on-line cloud service. Our ARCHON program is on a cloud service, Lunarpages. Some archives use flickr to store digital photographs, or to share the photographs with the public.
“BORN DIGITAL” PHOTOGRAPHS Next steps: Determine overall storage plan for digital materials for the institution. Determine file format for saving new photographs. Determine whether to try to save all photographs or select for quality and information value. (This statement makes archivists very nervous, but is a practical question since people take so many digital photographs.) Re-organize current files of digital photographs. Determine identification system for these.
PERMISSIONS FOR USE The issue of intellectual property is one with which we have limited experience. In general we have had the rights to photographs in our collection, particularly because many are taken by staff people or by people who designate our right to own and share the photographs. Because digital photographs are easy to share, we have many of these from other photographers. For example, from our 75th anniversary we have several thousand photographs from various photographers, but with no agreement about use. Next steps: Our board is working on a policy about intellectual property and archive staff will be part of this working group.
PRINTING DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHSThere is much debate about the longevity of laser jet printed photographs. Many printers, papers and inks do not create photographs of long-lasting quality. Resource for this issue www.wilhelmresearch.com.Tennessee Director of Preservation Services Carol Roberts suggested Epson printers, ink and paper, which have been tested to provide archival quality prints based on this Wilhelm Research site.Next step: Explore purchase of an Epson photo printer for printing archival quality prints from digital images. Current price for Epson R-1900 is $249.99 and for the R2400 is $499.99. Ink cartridges are $13.29 per cartridge on the Epson website. www.epson.com
HELPFUL RESOURCES: Carol Roberts, Director of Preservation Services, Tennessee State Library and Archives The Digital Library Handbook, edited by Diane Kresh, American Library Association, 2007. Some Issues in the Indexing of Images, Sara Shatford Layne, 1994. John Wiley and Sons. www.epson.com www.wilhelmresearch.com