Africana Poster Credits

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Credits for the Council of Library and Information Resources Grant, 2008-2010

Northwestern University Library

Lori Arp, Assistant to the University Librarian
Stu Baker, Associate University Library for Library Technology
Steve DiDomenico, Head of Enterprise Systems
Nicole Finzer, Visual Resources Librarian
Thomas Howell, Senior Systems Analyst
Karen Miller, Monograph and Digital Projects Cataloger
Deborah Rose-Lefmann, Monographic Cataloger
Shoshanah Seidman, Monographic Cataloger
Andrea Stamm, Head of Bibliographic Services
Claire Stewart, Head of Digital Collections
Gary Strawn, Authorities Librarian

Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies

David L. Easterbrook, Curator of Africana
Patricia Ogedengbe, Librarian of Africana
Esmeralda Kale, Bibliographer of Africana
Crystal Martin, Library Assistant
Michelle Guittar, Library Assistant


Michigan State University Libraries

At the Africana Library:
Peter Limb, Africana Bibliographer
Mary Hollist, Library Assistant
Amber Jennings, former Library Assistant

From Special Collections:
Peter Berg, Head of Special Collections, Assistant Director for Special Collections & Preservation

At the Copy Center:
Jill Thornton, Head, Copy Center/Reserves/Microforms/Periodicals
Erica Ervin, Library Assistant

Students at Northwestern University

Noah Butler
Meira Chefitz
Pamela Khanakwa
Joan Kyomugisha
Justine Howe
Henri Nzedom
Erik Ponder
Andreana Prichard
Anna Swindle
Alex Thurston


Africana poster digitization project, 1995-1998, 2003-2004

Northwestern University Library

Preservation Department

Elayne Bond, Head, Materials Processing
Richard Frieder, former Department Head
Virginia Kerr, Digital Technology Librarian
Franck Mercurio, former Library Assistant
Plamen Miltenoff, former Library Assistant
Colleen Byrne Wallace, Electronic Technology Specialist

 Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies

David L. Easterbrook,
George and Mary LeCron Foster Curator
Crystal Martin, Department Assistant
Reinessa Neuhalfen, former Department Assistant
Patricia Ogedengbe, Librarian of Africana
Matthew Teti, Program Assistant

Cataloging Department

Mary Brady, former Monographic Cataloger
Karen Miller, Monographic Cataloger/Digital Preservation Liason
Larsana Nelson, former Senior General Cataloger
Elizabeth Plantz, former Africana Cataloger
Rebecca Routh, Electronic Resources/Monographic Cataloger
Andrea Stamm, Head
Gary Strawn, Authorities Librarian/Cataloger and Library Systems Analyst/Programmer

Mitchell Multimedia Center

Stu Baker, former Technical Support Specialist (now Head, Library Management System

Northwestern University New Media Center

M. Claire Stewart, former Director (now Head, Digital Media Services)

Northwestern University, Information Technology Division, Academic Technologies Group

Brian Nielsen, Manager, Learning Technologies

Bill Parod, Support Specialist


Digital Images Processed by:

Luna Imaging, Inc. (archival images on Photo CD)
Preservation Department, Northwestern University Library (derivative images for the Web)

Production Dates:

1996, 1997-98

Intermediate Copies:

Posters photographed on Kodak R2 135-36 (ISO 25 color negative) film using Kemlite MW9
lamps with Speedotron D800 power packs

Archival Images:

Color negative film scanned and captured on Kodak five base (five resolution) Photo CD disks,
with the highest resolution at 2048 x 3072 pixels.

Derivative Images:

Medium resolution images (512 x 768 pixels) were cropped to remove technical reference targets
and resaved in two formats and three sizes:
*JPEG 24 bit color low compression at high quality, 72 dpi, un-resized
*GIF 8 bit color thumbnails in two sizes -- mid-sized (c. 115 x 147 pixels) and small (c. 58 x 74


Technical Information Project Narrative


This selection of 366 posters from the library's extensive collection were identified in 1995 as ideal material for a digitization project because of their pictorial interest and the enriched access potential which an online database could provide. Their large, full-color format led to the decision to photograph them first on professional color-negative film and then scan from the film. Before photographing, the first batch of posters scanned in 1996 were removed from mylar encapsulation used for conservation in order to avoid glare and image distortion. However, subsequent experience has shown that the use of polarizing filters on fresh, uncreased mylar can yield acceptable results and avoid the extra task of re-encapsulating. A second batch of 200 posters, digitized in 1997, were left in the mylar during photography and scanning.

The archival digital images were saved in photo CD format which offers cross-platform compatibility and multiple levels of resolution. The original scans were cropped by library staff to remove reference targets (including grayscale and color cards as well as inventory numbers). They were re-saved as low-compression, high quality JPEG images using batch processing, and through further processing they were also saved in GIF format to create smaller-scale "thumbnail" images. Original proportions were retained rather than forcing uniform dimensions or restricting the JPEG images to screen size.

An important aspect of the workflow was to develop a numbering scheme which tracked the migration of images through the several processes. Object numbers were assigned to the posters based on their filing order within a broad organizational scheme, and these were correlated with film and photo CD disc frame numbers; ultimately the digital file numbering created for the web server was based on the photo CD's, not the original object numbers. Batch processing was used for file re-naming.

As with the library's collection of digitized World War II posters, it was decided to create individual records for each poster in both the library's online catalog (NUcat) and an online web database to allow complete and flexible access. Full-level MARC records were created and then converted to SGML for use in the web database where they are searched by OpenText's Livelink software. Livelink was chosen for its customizable results page, flexible SGML indexing, and robust search features. The data structure for the web database incorporates selected fields from the MARC record, and the conversion was conducted through a customized batch process. In the 856 field of each MARC record, two links appear to the user: one directly to the JPEG image and the second leading to the URL for the web image database if the user prefers incorporating visual browsing with search results. Hidden links allow for the incorporation of thumbnail images in the various summary displays. A sample group of records was mounted in 1998. In 2004, records for the remainder of the 366 posters were mounted.