During the condition assessment of a manuscript, a number of photographs are taken to record key elements of the binding structure. These include the inside and outside of the boards, the spine and foredge and the head and tail of the book. In certain cases of unusual or complex elements, detail photographs are also taken.
The slides collected are stored in the Saint Catherine's office at Camberwell College of Arts. The total number of slides after the condition assessment has finished will be about 30,000. In order to make this source practical to use, the project has received funding from the Headley Trust to digitise the slides and load them in the project's database.
The digitisation is done with a slide scanner equipped with an automatic slide feeder. An important factor of the digitisation process is metadata recording. Metadata is information about the structure of the digital images and the images' content, which will ensure that the images will be a) accessible by future software and b) indexed for effective searching (e.g. with keywords). The images are stored in the JPEG2000 format (lossless compression).
To automate the process of scanning, collecting metadata and storing the images, an in-house software tool has been developed. More information about this tool is included later in this page.
We are using the Dublin Core for storing information about content. Technical metadata is stored using the DIG35 standard. Other content related metadata which is specific to the nature of our assessment may be added when it becomes available. At the moment the material has not been processed to allow such metadata to be extracted. The implementation of the metadata is done in an XML file.
We use the Luratech Command Line tool to encode the images in JPEG2000 format.
Our utility for automating the digitisation process is written in Visual Basic .NET and it runs on the Windows platform..
The slide digitisation has been funded by the Headley Trust.