Musings on Digital Scholarship & It’s Good to Be Back!

When I applied to work in Magill, I had really wanted a job at the circ desk. Instead, I landed in Laurie Allen’s office for an interview as a Digital Scholarship Assistant. When I told her I didn’t know any programming languages, she resigned to hire a CompSci major in the Spring and keep me around to do the dirty work. That was all of nine months ago. Since then, I’ve had quite a personal journey as my work in Digital Scholarship spilled over to many other areas of my life, like my academic interests, my hobbies, social circle, and to some extent, the lens of my perception. Digital Scholarship, an expansion of the digital humanities, honors open access, innovation and most fundamentally, for me, the conviction that the capital-T Truth that interests scholars relies on multiple narratives. These characteristics manifest themselves in the content of our projects and the forms through which we share them.

Now, in July 2012, I’ve returned to help Laurie Allen and co-conspirator Mike Zarafonetis create content for and design their new Digital Scholarship website to launch in the fall. Magill’s DS department has been conceived around “digital toolboxes” where each member of the DS team has a special niche. My niche is design. The content I’ve created for the website is intended to increase design literacy and awareness. So far, I’ve created a series of Photoshop tutorials based on an appointment I had with History major Rosalie Hooper’12 where I helped her edit an old map of Philadelphia from the David Rumsey Map Collection.

I’ve made a reading list for myself that includes Jan Tschichold’s The Form of the Book (1975), Lev Manovich’s Language of New Media (2001), and others, that relate the history of book design and how the practices developed related to book design can create a more readable Internet. I’m hoping to create a section of the website with straightforward and easily applicable guidelines to create very readable digital projects.  Many consider the web to be unreadable, which is an unfortunate but incorrigible impediment to the digitization of texts. While digital platforms have inherent problems  (low resolution, not being small enough to curl up in bed with…) that can only be resolved and are quickly being resolved with technological innovations, I believe the web has mostly been unreadable because those producing content have a poor understanding of web design. Fortunately, there is a lot of freely available literature on publishing well-designed website and my goal is to address the particular concerns of designing scholarly projects. Studying Tschichold’s rebuke against the typographic errors of his contemporaries, as vehement as it is, has significantly raised my expectations of what the web could be.

iBook Author annoyances

This is a long post wherein I whine about the experience of using ibook author. I never really get to the part about how I think the fact that Apple rejected my ibook about Digital Scholarship from the iBookstore based on Apple’s belief that it has a “limited audience” is analogous to the Board of UVA deciding to fire Theresa Sullivan because UVA (where we in the digital scholarship world look to for inspi-freaking-ration!!!) wasn’t moving quickly enough into the online world. But, the analogy was the reason for the post, so please look for it. I meant to say “Apple doesn’t understand higher education as anything other than a business.” and “This ibook is about the stuff that ibooks are supposed to be doing!”. But, instead, I mostly complained about the interface.

The Story:

When my fantastic, curious, energetic and wise student worker, Shahzeen, asked if she could use the newly released iBook Author from Apple to create a book about digital scholarship at Haverford, I said ,”Absolutely. Perfect!” As we build a program to support Digital Humanities (and digital social science and science, and to increase digital fluency, etc) within the library at Haverford, I needed someone like Shahzeen gathering stories, both to share with the community about the kinds of work we do in the library, and perhaps more importantly to help us find new ways of talking about this digital scholarship work we’re engaging in. Hearing from scholars, from students, and from librarians about what they’re doing within this small Haverford world, and hearing it through the ears of a bright, open minded first year student, would be generative (a word I’d never heard before Haverford and now can’t live without). Plus, I needed all of the folks I work with, including my student assistants, to be mastering new technologies, so we would know the tools we claim to support.

Downloading the software was kind of a nightmare. I eventually figured out that the macs in our library labs were running a version of Mac OS too old to download iBook Author, but somehow that was way more confusing than it should have been for us to figure out. However, I’m used to being way over my head technically so I chalked it up to an insufficient understanding of the complicated universe of institutional licensing and my own inattention to the problem for too long. And honestly, it was only one frustrating afternoon.

Anyway, so we got Shahzeen a laptop to work on, and we got our itunes account worked out, and then she worked on the book — scheduling interviews, transcribing, editing, structuring, rethinking, writing, etc. iBook Author is kind of awesome. I mean that. It’s drag and drop simple for some stuff, and the templates are clean and appealing, and on and on in apple love. That said, as she went, it was clear that, software aside, there was a lot of content work going into preparing this thing, and it was kind of sad that it would only ever be available either on an ipad or as a pdf. I got to wishing there were other export formats. But, we were in. It was an experience. And, eventually, we hoped it would join into the larger conversations in the world of digital humanities, etc.

And, if I do say, I thought it was awesome. We ended up with 4 main interviews, plus conversations with myself, my colleague Mike, and my boss Terry. Shahzeen’s book did just what we’d hoped. It presented examples of what we mean when we talk about “digital scholarship,” it raised questions about how scholars actually think of the digital in terms of their own work, it highlighted the breadth of what “counts” as digital scholarship, and it gave a bunch of us a chance to think aloud about the work we’re interested in, whether that’s microfinance, ancient languages, early printed music or digital humanities itself. Plus, it includes audio clips of a Classics professor saying “bum bum bum bum” at various speeds to make a fascinating point!

So, finally, it was complete. Now, we just had to publish it, link to it and start publicizing it!

And now we get to the part that inspired this rant. I’m going to ignore how annoying it was to actually upload the work. The fact that, even though there was that handy “publish” button in iBook Author, the act of publishing a book actually involves signing up for an ibookstore account, then downloading a totally new program (itunes producer), creating a new username and password and then passing through a million screens of info so that you can use iTunes Connect. Forget the fact that I had to try uploading the file like 90 times before it would actually work but since everything is easy with a mac, there’s absolutely no useful error information to help solve the problem when it fails. And when, on the 91st time I had done exactly the same thing, it finally worked, I didn’t even feel relieved — only more annoyed that doing the same thing over and over again was actually the way I had solved this problem.

And, as a librarian, it was very difficult to choose from the list of possible categories for my book. But, I took a course on cataloging and a much harder course on indexing in library school, and I’ve been at this for over a decade, so I figured I was overthinking it. And I know it’s nearly impossible to find a list of categories for describing all possible books. So, ok. fine. I won’t object to the fact that they know I’m publishing a book and the potential categories seem to assume I’m pitching a pilot to Bravo TV. But, ok. They’re going for a broad audience, and I’m in. apple knows what its doing way more than I do.

And so I submitted Shahzeen’s book for publication. On May 24th, I successfully created an account with the iTunes bookstore. Then, on June 8th, I got the following message:

And, I’ll be honest. I was really busy trying to finish spring projects and plan our completely new website inclucing services and projects and toolboxes for the fall, and it took me a while to figure out what the problem might be. Because what does that mean? My full book asset is not called: Limited Audience, and it’s not x-rated, so I’m not sure what that meant. What should I replace it with? An entirely different book? So, since uploading it had been a giant pain to begin with, one day I finally re-uploaded it with a different saved version and a different description, thinking maybe there was some unknown problem and they didn’t know what the book was.

A few days later, I got this:

So, I’ve seen lots of tickets from ticket tracking systems in my time. But this is Apple! Apple where everything is drag and drop. So, it annoys me that they don’t translate their tickets into a lovelier form.  Upon inspection of this unlovely ticket, I see that “The original request was not fulfilled. Your changes were not saved. Issue still occurs: Limited audience. Your book caters to an specific community, namely that of Haverford. Please log in to iTunes Connect to view this request and upload replacement assets:”

Now, by “upload replacement assets,” I assume they mean “create an entirely new book about a different topic.” But, this project took a lot of time, and I like the book as it is. It represents the voices of 3 faculty members, 3 members of the staff, and students talking and thinking about the way technology is interacting with their teaching, learning and research. I believe that, even if nobody ends up reading our little book because time is valuable, its potential audience is rather broad, given all of the people engaged in digital humanities, and mapping, and music, etc. And, I guess I thought, well, the folks at Apple work at a giant company doing technology stuff for a mass market. No reason they’d know anything about this tiny corner of the academic/library interests. And so I sent a report:

I'm getting back an error that my book caters to a specific audience, namely Haverford College. However, given my experience with the Digital Humanities community in higher education, I know that the audience for the book will be much broader, and will include faculty and scholars from at least the community of elite liberal arts colleges, if not the much wider higher education community. Is there anythign I can do to convince you that this is true?

In retrospect, that message has a little bit of “You must not know about me” in it, and I regret that. I was trying to sound fancy, to use that privilege that comes with working at Haverford. I’m relatively disgusted by the throw in of “elite” in there, but my point was made. And, I don’t know, I thought maybe someone has a buddy who’s gone to a little liberal arts college, and they could ask them about this kind of thing. I have a tendency to be a little self-deprecating so I went for over-confident here. Oh well. It didn’t work.

So, I guess it’s over. They will not publish my book. Because they believe it’s intended for distribution at my organization (I prefer “institution”, but better organization than “company”). Even though I told them that I intend it for broader distribution, they somehow believe that it’s intended audience is just Haverford. So, who do they think decides the intended audience… And so I guess the purpose of this post is to say that I think it’s bizarre and troublesome that there is a product/store/model for distributing mass produced books and textbooks, presumably for an academic audience, among others, that rejects books produced from the academic experience for the academic audience because they are too narrowly focused. Too narrowly focused is not a thing in the academy, Apple! Really. You shouldn’t claim to provide a way of democratizing the spread of academic information and then reject works that are too narrowly focused. I don’t know. As I write, I wonder if I’m just bitter.

And of course, I knew the platform would be limiting, because Apple loves DRM and patenting ideas (which is morally despicable), and controlling their users, etc. But, I mostly don’t get worked up about these things, and am open to whatever technologies come along that allow for people to do cool things. So, I’m not going to boycott Apple, or tell people not to use ibook author, and we’ll just post the book to our website, and maybe put it in iTunes U, and move on. I offer the story anyway.

Class of 2016, meet the Class of 1916

Welcome class of 2016, and all others who may stumble upon this post! My name is Karl Moll, and I am a rising Junior who works as the Archivist’s Assistant in the Haverford College Quaker and Special Collections in the Library, which houses the College Archives (and a great place to look for a job once you get to campus!). I thought it might be interesting to take a look at what incoming freshman at Haverford were experiencing 100 years ago when they came to campus. Now, the ‘Ford has undergone a lot of changes in the last century: for starters, we are no longer an all-male school, the class size was about 1/10th the size it is now (167 students at the school, 48 of them freshman), the Morris Infirmary was still under construction, and the college was officially Quaker.

When freshmen entered the college, they were given a handbook:

This book was designed to introduce the new students to the customs of the college, and was funded by the Y.M.C.A. (which was still very much the Young Men’s Christian Association). The main goal in publishing the guide was to “call…attention to an organized effort for the development of Christian character amongst us”. Though, since this is Haverford, the organization “lays no emphasis on creeds or dogmas, and in no way tries to exert sectarian influence”. To me this sounds reminiscent of the second part of the oft-quoted segment of the 1888 Commencement Speech by President Isaac Sharpless:

Every time I read this, I get chills

It seems to fit into the tradition of being one’s own person.

One of the more interesting sections of any of the class handbooks from years past are the Rules for Freshman. Unfortunately, 1912-1913 seems to have been a reasonable year, and there are only “Points for Freshman”. Most of these are still pretty sound advice, though many are outdated:

Some useful information for incoming freshman, plus advice

In other years, there are rules banning freshmen wearing mustaches and carrying canes. Freshmen were also required to move out of paths to make way for upperclassmen, and not lighting an upperclassmen’s cigarette could lead to a fine. Maybe this year the Officer of Hazing (yes, that was an actual title) decided to take it easy. The sophomores were traditionally in charge of Hazing (or teaching the school’s customs). To see some funny rules from earlier years check here or here (feel free to browse around the site that the link brings you to, these are the digitized images from Haverford Special Collections and the Archives of the College!).

One of my favorite parts of historical Haverfordiana are the songs that freshman were expected to learn and sing at sporting events (failure to learn the songs resulted in punishments which ranged from midnight head shavings to monetary fines to being thrown in the duckpond). The major sporting events on campus were soccer and football (“Undefeated Since 1972″), but many of the songs could be sung during alumni events, or seniors could just make the underclassmen sing in the dining hall if they felt like it:

Various publications on campus and College Songs

 

I wish we still had songs like these…

 

More Songs!

 

The rest of the handbook provided the new student with reference material to all the resources on campus. These range from train schedules, telephone and telegraph services, the various clubs on campus, student publications, secret societies, and more…

A listing of trains to and from Philly. Clearly they didn’t have the SEPTA app…
To let the freshman know what they were up against

 

Sure, none of these exist anymore…

 

 

Before we had these fancy “cellular phones”…
Customs and the “Honor System”:

College Customs and the Honor System

 

The Honor Code of today seems very similar to the Honor System of old, but at the same time very different. And while we still have a “Customs” period for Freshman like in the post above, it is far removed from what these old newspapers show us:

 

So a lot has changed over the years, but there is still that Haverfordian feel through it all

If you have any questions about this, or other aspects of Haverford History, feel free to shoot me an email at kmoll@haverford.edu, or email Haverford Special Collections (hc-special@haverford.edu) where you can get some more expert advice. If I were writing “Points for Freshman” for the incoming class of 2016, one that I would stress would be to stop in and visit Special Collections in the back of the Library. The collection is really one of the gems of the college. You can find the historical materials for the club you get involved in, genealogical records of famous Quakers, old sports photos, anti-slavery materials, maps,  yearbooks from years past, rare books (Copernicus, Darwin, Shakespeare… no big deal), records for the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and much more.

April’s post

I’m April Lin, a rising senior and Anthropology major working in Magill. This summer I’m helping out with a variety of different projects, including scanning, digitizing and archiving senior theses and retired magazines (among other things) as well as helping out with the library’s migration to the new guides website. One I’ve been working on in particular has been Professor Mudd’s project of mapping microfinance institutions in Mexico, Uganda and the Philippines in order to learn more about their relation to poverty.

 

Here’s one of the maps I generated from an Excel spreadsheet of addresses and coordinates of microfinance institutions in the Philippines. The larger asterisks mark headquarters and the smaller circles mark branch locations. It took a lot of work to pin down where some of these places were, but we recently sent out a mailing to these institutions and are on our way to learning much more about them.  I hope to have another post for you guys soon!

 

Vintage

Saw this image and couldn’t not edit and upload it. (And on that note, sorry for the bad photoshopping job, you know how it is scanning books in a flatbed scanner.) So cute! So many friends! Hooray for coeducation! Hooray for fundraising! (Side note: if my dad had gotten into Haverford — but alas, he was deferred and rejected — maybe he would be in this picture!)

 

Making the Template, Part I

As part of a series of posts by our student employees, Karl Moll ’14 talks about what he’s been working on in Special Collections this summer:

One of the bigger projects that I’ve been working on this summer has been to create a template which allows users to input archival information from a finding aid into Excel and then it converts it into a valid EAD program so that it can be uploaded into Archivists’ Toolkit.

If you don’t understand what the above section means, that’s all right. It took me a little bit to get it all, and I’m going to walk you through it now.

EAD is subset of XML which is a programming language which is pretty similar to HTML, without most of the style commands. XML is really useful in creating hierarchies of information, which is why EAD (Encoded Archival Description) is based on this format. EAD is a standard used by many archives and special collections across the country to make finding materials easier across collections. For more on the history of EAD, look here. For more on standards in general, I may write another blog post about the development of ANSI standards. But more on that later.

For this project, I’m working on a brilliant template by Matt Herbison which properly formats the information that is inputted into a spreadsheet into a valid EAD program so that it can be uploaded into Archivist’s Toolkit. It is a really wonderful template that makes converting a finding aid into AT so much easier than writing the code by hand, or even entering it directly into AT. However, to be super useful to us here, I’ve been trying to make some modifications to it.

The first thing I did was get rid of a lot of the fields that we wouldn’t be using for our finding aids. After a lot of consultation with John and Diana, we determined that all we really needed were Level, Title, and the newly added Call Number or Shelf Location. More on the Call Number in a bit. The template went from looking like this:

 

To this:

This new version is a lot more streamlined for what we need it to do, since that’s all the information that we are really interested in anyways. Since there wasn’t already a field for Call Number, I had to create one. This part of the project ended up taking some time getting familiar with XML and EAD.

I really wanted there to be a way to put the call number with each individual item in the Finding Aid. The way I first tried was just to concatenate the Title cell in Excel with a Call Number cell, so that it would look like “Karl’s Papers, 2010-2012. Call Number: R1 SA B3″ but this lacked a symmetry when it actually created the finding aid, since not all the titles are the same length. I was looking through the AT window…

…when I noticed that there was this field:

Now, a Component Unique Identifier sounds a lot like a Call Number to me, so I then began an Internet quest to learn more about XML and EAD to see what tags corresponded to this entry field (I knew that there HAD to be something, since AT fields correspond to the EAD standard). After a couple of days of teaching myself about XML, I realized that the tag <unitid> </unitid> would be my best bet.

Now, the template works by concatenating cells in the spreadsheet so that the code is automatically produced. In the back-end of the program, it looks like this:

 

Notice that some of the columns have fixed values such as “<c0″ and “><did><unittitle>”. These are here to create certain constants for a valid program, and it ends up producing code like this:

I changed some of the fixed cells so that they would populate the Component Unique Identifier field in Archivists Toolkit using the <unitid> tag so that it produced code like this (the differences are pretty subtle):

So after I made those changes, Archivists Toolkit was able to accept it as a valid program to be uploaded, with a call number for every field and then produce a Finding Aid like this:

The Call Number is on the left side preceding the Title. I’ve been working on various ways of making the Call Number more readable, but haven’t uploaded it to AT yet.

My next blog post on the templates will be on my ongoing struggles to deal with nesting issues to provide the user with one extra level of hierarchy!!! Stay tuned!

–Karl Moll ’14

Nearly-Complete

It’s been a while since I last posted, so I figured I’d give you guys an update on my progress! I am almost done scanning the magazines I have from the Gummere Morley room (as I’ve finished all from the Communications Office). Once I am done scanning and processing these, I will go back to my spreadsheet and really make sure that the issues I think are missing actually exist, because as of right now Special Collections hasn’t found other missing ones for me. Earlier on in this project, I looked at the inside front covers of the magazine to see how many were printed in a given year, and I documented those changes to fill in the gaps for magazines I didn’t have. However, I think I need to do a little more research than that, because from my observations the printing information isn’t always accurate (for example, one year of Horizons has seven issues even though it is printed in all their front covers that the magazine is printed six times per year). I’m hoping to double-check my findings by reading the Letters to the Editor sections to see what the previous issue was and whether or not I have it. Letters to the Editor didn’t actually start in the magazine until the mid-1970s, and this is where my gaps begin, so I am pretty lucky. I’d like to think of myself as a magazine forensic scientist.

I titled this post “Nearly Complete” not just because I am nearing the completion of all the scanning I have to do, but also because of discoveries I’ve made inside some magazines from the Communications Office – to be specific, lots of edits in pen and pencil, notes written on post-its, and photographs used in the magazine.  Here’s the latest one I found:

Hard-copy picture I found in the middle of a magazine, with its appearance in the magazine in the upper left-hand corner.

Not to worry, I did not scan the issues which had pen all over them — I used the Gummere Morely copies instead when I had them. However, the more edited magazines I found, the less sure I became about their status as rough or penultimate drafts.

In this issue of Helping Haverford, a fundraising publication released alongside the alumni magazine in the late 1970s-early 1980s, there were a ton of grammatical errors corrected in blue pen, but the same issue bound in the Gummere Morely books contained the same unedited text! So either someone was a grammar nut or the changes were made too late in the copy I had when the issue had already gone to print.

It was also crazy having to take off post-its on magazine pages which were 15 years old! I had no idea that post-its could last so long, but considering the good condition of the magazines I guess I’m not all that surprised.

In several other early issues of the Haverford Magazine, someone had gone through and circled the name of every Haverford alum printed in the magazine! It got a little tedious to erase all those pencil marks before putting the pages in the scanner.

That’s all for now — I’ll try to keep my posts brief after my long introduction two weeks ago, but I’ll try to update a few more times before the project is all finished!

Some Discoveries

One of my side-projects that will be helpful for the library and the Communications Office once all the magazines have gone digital is finding the “best ofs,” or highlights of each magazine. This means taking note of funny articles and photos and also finding historical moments of the college as written by the college, whether it is the opening of a building or the inauguration of a president. Theoretically, things that I find funny or interesting about Haverford’s history will be funny to others too! (I hope.) I’ve already begun a small inventory on my iPhone that I hope will expand as the project goes on; I have also been updating the spreadsheet I use to keep track of the project in greater detail as to what specific articles I find. I thought I would share with you some of the photos I have taken already, and once I begin to scan in larger quantities (the bulk scanner can now do color TIFFs! Hooray!) I will be able to upload individual articles as well.

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This photo was put on the back of the January 1975 issue of Horizons, advertising for Alumni Weekend that April. The 1860s Saloon-esque font is obviously not part of the original photo, but the "Haverford Banjo Club of 1897" is certainly real! In the spirit of true friendship (or perhaps Friendship?), non-banjo players were also allowed in the club (as I see two guitars and four mandolins).

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As a Bryn Mawr major (who has once taken all her semester classes at Bryn Mawr), I appreciated this blurb about the first Haverford Geology major who, for obvious reasons, had to do the same thing!

I’ll be keeping my eye out as I scan more in the following weeks!

Arielle’s Introduction

Hey all, Arielle here. I’m a rising senior working for the Communications Office this summer, although most of my work will be done here in Magill.

My official title is the “Content Database Intern.” This name sounds cool, but it doesn’t reveal what work I will be doing! Here’s the short explanation: with support from the Grant J. Schneider ’80 Fund, I’ll be spending five weeks digitizing the Haverford Alumni magazine. Seems easy, right? Here’s the long explanation: I’ll be scanning any paper copy of the magazine that is not already digital (issues from 1959-2008) with two different scanners, ordering the pages and converting the file to a PDF, running this PDF through Omnipage, a word recognition software, and finally removing the “Class News” section of the magazine to create a public copy to upload on the web. These web-based issues will be searchable and downloadable. (For all the digital copies of the magazine that exist so far, click here.)

You’ll be surprised to know that, with only two days of work under my belt, I have been presented with a lot of challenges. The first challenge I had was to figure out how many magazines actually exist in its full run! By looking in the front covers of the alumni magazine over time, I have been able to figure out how many issues were published in a given season, and therefore know which magazines I am missing. The inside cover releases two key pieces of information for this task: there is not only a Volume and Number for all the magazines from 1959 to 1985, but also a small blurb which indicates how many issues are printed in a year. Very helpful!

For this inventory, I have worked with magazines from two locations: the Communications Office has send their (incomplete) collection over from Founders to Magill, and the remaining (also incomplete collection) have been in the Gummere Morley room on the First Tier of the library. With these magazines, I have, I’d say, between 65-80% of the full run. I have requested the gaps in these two collections from Special Collections, which, according to my boss Laurie, has two full runs of the magazine.

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Magazines from the Communications Office, unbound.

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Bound books from the Gummere Morley Room

You may ask yourself: why not just use the full run from Special Collections? The answer to this question is one of efficiency. The magazines from the Communications Office are unbound and cut, which makes them super easy to scan in the special scanner we have in the “Wreck Room,” a computer lab nestled among the reference librarians’ offices on the Second Tier. This scanner looks like a printer and is able to scan double-sided sheets of paper – I guess you could say the process looks like sending a fax that ends up on the computer, through a laser printer. The issue with the magazines from the Gummere Morley Room and Special Collections, however, is that they are bound. In order to preserve the books, I won’t be able to scan these magazines with the fast scanner – I’ll use a regular flatbed scanner for those (and, actually, other unbound magazines, but I’ll explain that later).

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of what I’ve done so far, I thought I would share some fun tidbits that I’ve learned over the course of my first two days of work, spent organizing and cataloging the magazine’s run.

  • Haverford magazine has changed its name four times and has had four names in its 53 year history. It was called Haverford Horizons from 1959-1961, Haverford College Horizons from 1961-1968, Horizons: a Haverford College Publication from 1969-1978, went back to Haverford Horizons from 1978-1984, Horizons from 1984-1985, and Haverford ever since.
  • Today, Haverford is printed three times a year: Winter, Spring, and Fall. The most the alumni magazine has been printed in a given season is seven times — even though the mysterious seventh copy had “Issued six times a year” printed on the first page.
  • The oldest issue of Horizons is 14 pages long. The Winter 2012 issue of Haverford is 64 pages.

I will be using four applications to process and create the digital copies of the magazine: Capture Perfect (for the fast scanner), Photoshop (for the flatbed scanner), Adobe Acrobat (to compile the magazine), and Omnipage (word recognition software to make the magazine searchable). The pages are scanned in TIFF format, and I later convert them to PDFs to edit and post on the internet.

Although I started scanning magazines yesterday, today I met with Norm so he could teach me how to compile a magazine from start to finish. We quickly discovered the second challenge of this project: the fast scanner, for some reason, cannot scan TIFFs in color. This means that, for now, any color page that needs to be scanned must be done with the flatbed scanner. Which presents the third challenge: finding any instance of color in the run of the magazine. Today’s magazine is published in full color, but the first issues of Horizons only had covers in color. Gradually, the magazine put more and more in color, starting with title text and going on to include feature articles smack in the middle of the black and white magazine. Fortunately, Adobe Acrobat makes it really easy for me to arrange pages in whatever order I want, even if they are scanned from different places. For now, scanning these color pages on a flatbed scanner will take some time, so hopefully we’ll be able to get the fast scanner working with color pages!

I’m off to scan some more, but I hope this is a good introduction for the updates I’ll be making later on. Talk to you soon!