What We Do
The Digital Programs unit provides digital reformatting services to the Libraries and the Purdue campus community. We are equipped to digitize many kinds of still-image media, including photographs, documents, manuscripts, books, bound journals, scrapbooks, slides and photographic negatives. Many of our projects come from the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections, such as the Gilbreth photo collection. We also serve faculty and departments outside the libraries to digitize collections of significant research and historical interest. These external projects have included a large set of documents from Amnesty International, a complete run of the Faculty Senate meeting minutes and a collection of photographs from the Purdue Bands.
Who We Are
The projects that the Digital Programs unit undertakes would not be successful without the combined efforts of several staff members and student employees. Allen Bol has been with the unit the longest. He started in the unit working with Carl Snow, and has seen many changes including two office relocations. Allen now supervises the student employees who perform much of the scanning that our projects require. He also fulfills digital image orders, and maintains some of the specialized equipment used in digitization projects. Carolee McGill-Barker has been with Purdue for more than ten years, but recently joined Digital Programs full-time after contributing to our projects part-time while a part of the Metadata Services unit. Carolee performs a number of essential tasks such as transcribing documents using optical character recognition software and preparing digital image files for upload into digital repositories. Eve Trager joined Digital Programs last October, bringing her experience in digital publishing and information technology. Eve quickly took on the challenge of getting acquainted with the specialized software used in Digital Programs projects. Her work includes performing post-processing and quality control of images prior to upload, assembling metadata records and performing uploads of material into CONTENTdm. I am the operations manager for the Digital Programs unit, overseeing all aspects of digitization projects, from planning through the final delivery of digitized collections. Of course, our work requires collaborating with members of other units, including Archives and Special Collections, Metadata Services, ePubs, and others, who lend their expertise to ensure the success of each Digital Programs project.
Equipment We Use
Providing digital reformatting services for a wide range of media requires specialized equipment. We use two sizes of high-quality flat-bed scanners to scan both reflective and transparent media. Photographs, unbound document and manuscript pages, slides and negatives are all scanned on a flat-bed. A dedicated sheet-fed scanner allows for fast scanning of unbound paper media such as documents and reports. A Bookeye 3 scanner served for about eight years as the primary means of scanning bound items, including books and journal volumes. In November of last year an ATIZ BookDrive scanner, which uses two DSLR cameras to simultaneously capture page images of bound items, succeeded the Bookeye as the go-to solution for digitizing bound items. The Bookeye remains useful as a backup and for scanning large-format items, up to size A1.
Allen Bol demonstrates how the new ATIZ BookDrive scanner works.
Where We Are
You can learn more by stopping by room 256 in the HSSE library. We’re here from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.