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MU in Brick and Mortar

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Technical Information

Digitizing the Collection

The greatest strength of the MU in Brick and Mortar web site is the wide diversity of its materials it incorporates. Ironically, this also presents its greatest challenge. The original images represented in this collection range from 36" wide architectural drawings to 2" film negatives. Our goal was to display these different sizes and types of items in a single, unified collection.

Scanning

The large-format drawings were digitized on a 40" Contex Crystal TX40 color scanner as Tag(ged) Image File Format (TIFF) files with no compression, then converted into JPEG (with compression set at 12) for use on these pages.

Small-format items (such as articles, photographs, documents, negatives, and slides) generally were digitized using a Microtek ScanMaker 8700 flatbed color scanner directly into JPEG format (with compression set at 12).

Opaque paper items like documents and photos were digitized using a Microtek ScanMaker 8700 flatbed color scanner. All such items were scanned directly into Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). JPEGs were extracted from these documents for conversion into thumbnails.

Transparent items (i.e., slides, negatives, microfilm, etc.) were digitized on a Microtek ScanMaker 8700 flatbed color scanner. These items were scanned directly into JPEG format (with compression set at 12).

Aperture cards and magic lantern slides from our project partners were scanned at their facilities.

Image Editing

Large-format drawings were saved using Contex WideImage scanning software, then later retouched using Rasterex's RX Spotlight and RX Highlight software. They were then resized and rendered as thumbnails using Irfan Skiljan's Irfanview image editing software. In some cases, Adobe Photoshop was also used for editing and/or retouching the images.

Small-format materials were imported, retouched and saved using Adobe Photoshop and/or Wilber & Sons' open source, Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Program).

Once digitized and retouched as needed, all materials were resized, thumbnailed, and scaled down to 72 DPI using the Irfanview graphics viewing program. Finally, small effects such as drop shadows were added to certain images via Photoshop.

Final Image Specifications

Size: approx. 800 x 600 pixels
Resolution: scanned at 300 dpi, later scaled down to 72 dpi
Format: GIF and JPEG
Mode: RGB, indexed color, or grayscale

Indexing the Collection

The MU in Brick and Mortar web site uses the Dublin Core metadata schema and derives its subject terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus. At this time however, searching is enabled only via Google Search Appliance.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

This project was originally developed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the state of Missouri.

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Copyright ©2006 Curators of the University of Missouri
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Published by: University Archives
Originally published by:
Building and Infrastructure Archives
Major Revision: June 2016