Accessing digital images

January 25, 2011

Last Friday I was part of a panel at the Pioneer (public) Library System meeting. The purpose was to get the libraries interested/excited about providing digital content to their patrons.

Blanche Warner of the Naples Public Library told about a community funded project that digitized a local person’s love letters, sent home during the Civil War.  The project was outsourced. The search capability is good and the letters are a lot of fun to read. She also showed a clip of the local news doing a piece on the collection, great PR.

I talked about the things I wrote about in my last blog entry.

April Younglove and Debbie Emerson of the Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) talked about the FLAG Heritage project of putting local images on CONTENTdm. FLAG is in the process of merging with a similar New York State project, New York Heritage. They explained how the libraries could get involved and how much support they are able to give. (A lot)

It seemed like quite a few librarians were interested in pursuing some of these options. I hope they are able to follow through.


I went to the digitization expo yesterday and I’m back with lots to think about. I think it helped be get over my “post-vacation depression.” 🙂 Plus I got to see a number of people I haven’t run into in a while, and had a fun lunch.

I listened to four presentations and chatted with vendors. The fun is that I don’t seem to come back with facts to share but with ideas for projects. Here are the thoughts I scribbled all over my program. I’m interested in comments on how to proceed, or any other good ideas.

  • Have the images on my homepage change each time someone accesses it. We have about 1/3 of the photo collection online now, there must be a way to do this.
  • Add online exhibits to my page to create interest in special collections.
  • Does it matter if scanned photos are not in order on the CD’s? They are on the server and can be searched there by call number. That means, if I get a request for a scan, why not just stick in on whatever the current CD is? Or I guess I could to a folder for requested scans and put them all one one CD. What do you think?
  • We have been saving photos in TIFF format then re-saving as JPEG in two different sizes, display and thumbnail. Apparently it’s possible with some systems to convert for TIFF to JPEG2000 on the fly when uploading. That is worth tracking down.
  • I have students newspapers that need to be microfilmed. Now they can microfilm, digitize, OCR and index them at the same time. Perhaps we should look for money to do the old microfilm as well. I can see it being used a lot!
  • But then I believe we have a microfilm scanner upstairs somewhere. Perhaps I could put a student to scanning them. That’s step one at least.

Look at that, years of work from listening to Angela O’Neal of the Ohio Memory project, Pam O’Sullivan of Rochester Images, Peter Verheyen and Nicolette Schneider of SU Digital Projects and Stacy Person of UBdigit, and chatting with a few vendors.

Thanks WNYLRC!

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