Black, White, and Read All Over: Addressing Newspaper in Collections

Black, White, and Read All Over: Addressing Newspaper in Collections


okay so we are going to go ahead and get
started great
okay so hello everyone thank you for coming and welcome to black white and
red all over addressing newspapers in collections. I’m
Gillian Marcus, I am DHPSNY’s Preservation Specialist and I’m here
with Jennifer Paul material who is the digital services librarian at the
southeastern New York library Resource Council or ascend you lurk for those of
you who like acronyms so we have a lot to cover today um so we’re going on go
ahead and get started so just a little bit about dips knee before we get on to
the topic at hand dips knee is a five-year initiative in year three now
to deliver essential training and services to new york’s collecting
institutions tips new services include archival needs assessments preservation
and conservation surveys or condition surveys as we call them guidance with
strategic planning and access to a variety of educational programs and
workshops tips knee is making these services available free of charge to New
York based organizations that collect preserve and make accessible historical
records and/or library research materials and that’s you guys dips knee is a collaboration between two
long-running New York programs the New York State Archives documentary Heritage
Program and the New York State Library conservation preservation program it was
established in 2016 by the New York State Education Department’s Office of
cultural education to ensure consistent and comprehensive services to the vast
network of organizations that safeguard New York’s records and make them
accessible okay so this webinar is divided into two parts and in the first
part I’m going to talk about the physical nature of newspaper
deterioration and what causes it what steps we can take to preserve our
physical newspaper collections things like that and then jen is going to talk
about the bigger picture on preserving the information contained
in newspaper collections she’ll be talking about some of the choices you
might face when you’re evaluating whether to digitize your newspaper
collections digitization options as well as presentation storage and access
solutions and we’re hoping at that at the end of this webinar you might have a
clearer picture of what the next steps will be in caring for your newspaper
collections we will also leave about a half hour for questions at the very end
of this presentation because it’s a big topic with a lot of information so go
ahead and get started here if I can get my thing to work there we go so physical
deterioration of your newspaper collection along with a lack of space is
what usually leads institutions to begin worrying about what the future looks
like for these materials newspapers tend to deteriorate in a very dramatic way
they look noticeably different they can smell kind of stinky and the edges often
start crumbling off they really sort of appear to self-destruct
right in front of your eyes which is scary um so first and foremost I am here
to tell you that it’s not your fault actually let me rephrase that it may
partly be your fault which we’ll get to later but newspapers are often doomed to
a life of physical deterioration from the beginning starting with the way that
they’re made most of the paper that we encounter on our collections is made
with cellulose fibers up until the 19th century mid 19th century I should say
the main source of cellulose in Western countries was cotton or linen rags which
are still used to this day to make rag paper however when the printing press
was invented the demand for an inexpensive and easily obtained source
of paper material accelerated manufacturing for printing materials
switched from rag paper to paper made with wood pulp this happened around the
1860s give or take a few years depending on the region rags tended to be scarce
and wood was a much easier material to source but it produced paper which is of
a much lower quality and we’ll talk about why that is in the next few slides
but essentially for the last 160 years or so you don’t give or take a bit paper
manufactured for inexpensive mass-produced items such as newspapers
cheap books and ephemera has often been made
with wood processed through mechanical pulping and by ephemera I’m referring to
items which were widely distributed materials that were often considered
disposable such as posters flyers pamphlets tickets receipts etc things
like that so one thing we need to remember is that these items weren’t
made to last and they were meant to be used but as they’ve aged and we’ve begun
to consider them historical objects that we want to keep for a long time we’ve
also seen that this material is inherently flawed and newspapers are
predisposed to physical deterioration so aside from the material components of
newspapers there are many other things that can cause or accelerate their
deterioration this includes the way that they are manufactured the presence of
acidity and that’s both in the paper material itself and the environment
photo lytic damage which is light damage exposure exposure excuse me – for
storage materials and a poor storage environment as well as improper handling
so we’ll talk about each of these in more detail unfortunately on problems with
newspapers stability often start with a tree that makes the paper or trees that
make the paper so trees along with many other plans have lignin in them wood
which is the rigid material that keeps a growing plant upright and maintains its
structure by itself lignin is not a harmful substance in fact it is
essential for plants to grow and function it’s no more harmful to plants
than our skeleton is to us however when wood is manufactured into
wood pulp to make paper that’s when lignin becomes problematic mechanically
pulping paper produces very short fibers and it doesn’t remove the lignin which
is naturally present in the wood short fiber papers are not as durable as long
fiber papers which predisposes short fiber papers to be weaker and less
durable than longer fiber papers and in an example of a longer fiber paper would
be that that cotton rag paper those are usually very long five favorite papers
there is a process called chemical pulping which does remove the
lignin in some wood based papers but newspapers are almost always made using
mechanically pulped papers so why is lignin so harmful in paper lignin is
actually made up a variety of compounds that’s not just one compound they’re
generally three-dimensional polymers that contain carboxylic acid that are
released as the as lignin ages which accelerates cellulose deterioration this
chemical reaction is called acid hydrolysis and it breaks the molecular
bonds which hold cellulose fibres together so without that salt that
that’s strong bond this results in hard brittle paper that
disintegrates easily which is often what you’re looking at when you are thinking
about your newspapers looking bad in your collections in addition beginning
in the 1820s until around about the 1980s alum rosin sizing was added to the
paper pulp to reduce absorbency and minimized leading of inks this alum
rosin sizing generates sulfuric acid when exposed to moisture or high
humidity so acidity both inherent and in the environment is a huge contributor to
the degradation of newspapers just in case anyone watching this doesn’t know
what I mean when I refer to acidic substances I’m referring to a pH of
around 6.5 or lower generally six are lower we’ve talked about
excuse-me sources of acids such as lignin and acid hydrolysis as well as
acidity from alum rosin sizing added to paper during manufacture but people can
also absorb sulfur and nitrogen oxides from the environment particularly in
areas that have a lot of pollution or poor filtration and your HVAC system so
if you look at the edges of the text block on a cheap paperback book or on
bound volumes and newspapers often those edges will be darker or more yellow and
this is a pretty strong visual reminder that the edges of text blocks tend to
absorb sulfur and nitrogen oxides from the environment before the center of the
paper handling you know by race by staff can also leave traces of lactic
acid which is a component of sweat mmm nice an oxidation is another chemical
degradation pathway and this is often initiated by light so newspapers often
yellow as they age as we’ve seen and this is partly due to increasing acidity
but it is also the result of light induced oxidation as lignin absorbs
light and decomposes it can turn yellow it’s quite a complicated chemical
process light both visible and UV also acts as an accelerator for existing
decoration processes so any existing deterioration will be made worse when
light exposure is added exposure to high levels of visual light sorry that’s
visible light not visually an ultraviolet radiation can also cause
fading of colored newspapers for example the Financial Times if you’ve ever seen
that which is kind of a light pink color so to sum up newspapers are prone to
deterioration from the moment that they’re made and by the time they get to
our collections they’re usually well on their way to deteriorating the environment that newspapers are in also
contributes to deterioration and that’s bad news but it’s also good news because
that’s something that we have at least a little bit of control over and we can do
something about it so that’s good we like to have control over our
collections and the things that we can really control in our collections are
temperature relative humidity pollution in the environment pest and mold damage
and light exposure and we’ll talk about each one of those in a little more
detail now so generally the recommended temperature range for mixed-media
collections is around 59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and if you can aim for
something in that range that’s a positive step
however the colder the better for newspaper storage because colder
temperatures help to slow down some of those chemical reactions that we talked
about in the first few slides a daily relative humidity should be kept
between 30 to 40% but again for mixed-media collections which I’m
assuming most people have very few people have a just a straightforward
newspaper collection you can keep the relative humidity between 45 to 55
percent give or take around five percent and that’s acceptable the most important
thing you want to avoid is rapid fluctuations of more than ten percent in
a 24 hour period that’s when you start really stressing the material I’m
obviously the best way to maintain these standards is with a good HVAC system but
I realize that many places do not have the funding or infrastructure to install
and maintain an HVAC system and in that case there are some supplementary things
that you can use it’s really important that even if you don’t have an HVAC
system and actually especially if you don’t have an HVAC system that you track
temperature and relative humidity using independent data loggers this allows you
to monitor trends in the environment your collections are in in order to take
steps toward environmental control funders are especially appreciative of
this data because it shows that you’re invested in the long-term care of your
collections and that you know what’s going on there are so many data loggers
on the market these days from basic models with an LCD screen to models
which can send environmental data to your phone or computer wirelessly which
is great data loggers are also fairly inexpensive they’re really one of the
best investments any institution can take for preservation of your
collections in my opinion even without an HVAC system there are several
supplementary methods that you can use to control the environment and this
includes standalone dehumidifiers and window air conditioning units these
things are especially important in the summer but can also help if you have a
space which has stagnant air or humid conditions year round
sometimes dehumidifiers can be labor-intensive someone some have to be
empty freg Euler Li sometimes a couple of times a day but they really can make
a huge difference to the environmental quality of your storage areas and
particularly without that HVAC system there are other more passive measures
you can take to control the relative humidity and temperature and collection
spaces and this can be as simple as making sure that compact storage shelves
are staggered so that pockets of stagnant hair do not form on the shelves
it could also mean bringing in fans making sure that windows are properly
sealed you know during the winter things like that they’re always sort of
low-cost or free methods you can use and often they’re they’re pretty simple pollution both in the collection
environment and inside of housing can also impact the longevity of newspapers
sulfur and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere are acidic and caused
newspaper to become darker yellow or and more brittle
we recommend that if you have an HVAC system or planning to install an HVAC
system in the future that it has a good particulate or gaseous filtration system
and that the filters are changed regularly that’s really important
because a lot of debris dust things like that get trapped in there and those are
a big source of pollution housekeeping especially regular dusting and vacuuming
is really really important again a low-cost or free thing you can do that
will you know significantly improve the environment dust can contain all sorts
of things which are harmful to collections materials pollution damage
can also be exacerbated by keeping these papers in a plastic box or in sealed
plastic bags so those acidic degradation products which are created as the
newspaper deteriorates then become contained which creates what we call a
microclimate so have you ever seen like a crowded subway car with lots of people
where the windows begin to get fogged up from everyone breathing that’s an
example of a microclimate maybe kind of a dramatic example but something similar
is happening with your newspapers when you you seal them up in plastic and it’s
a vicious cycle that you want to avoid by enclosing newspapers and material
that keeps acidic byproducts trapped in the space so I
see quite a few newspapers kept in those sort of Rubbermaid Tupperware containers
and I know that it’s well-intentioned but those can often cause cause problems pest damage excuse me and mold damage
are two other common issues collections faced with newspaper particularly if
there’s poor or minimal housekeeping in collection storage areas mold is an
unfortunate byproduct of a leak a flood or very humid conditions at a minimum
having a solid housekeeping plan in place and dusting and vacuuming in
storage areas will help to avoid a pest infestation it’s also recommended that
all institutions have an integrated pest management or IPM plan in place we do
have some resources on the Dipsy website including a webinar on how to start and
manage an IPM plan and on dealing with a mold outbreak in your collections
apologies for that as we mentioned previously light both
visible and UV causes damage and discoloration of newspapers having the
appropriate storage on which we’ll talk about in a little bit will help to
minimize light damage it’s also a good idea to block out windows and storage
areas excuse me with blinds curtains or some other material and to make sure
that lights are only turned on and storage when items are being retrieved
you can cover windows and light fixtures with UV filtering film and sleeves which
will drastically reduce UV exposure for items and storage excuse me pardon me
both UV filtering film and sleeves for light fixtures can be found in most
preservation supply houses including Gaylord University products
I think colander metal edge has them as well so they’re really easy to find you
can actually even find that one eBay and Amazon places like that one of the best
ways that you can protect your newspaper collections is to store them properly
using materials that can help to reduce or buffer acidic byproducts you’ll also
want to choose appropriate storage furniture and take
precautions when you’re handling your collections there are a couple of
anonymous examples that I’ve seen of newspaper storage that’s problematic and
I’m not pointing fingers at all because I’ve seen this in lots and lots of
places big institutions small institutions you know it happens and
part of the problem is that newspaper collections tend to be very large and
newspapers themselves are really bulky right so they take up a lot of space
which means that they’re problematic items to store and space is almost
always tight at collecting institutions so this stuff happens I often see
newspapers in acidic folders or in no folders at all stacked on top of one
another pretty much as high as you can go you can see that in that that photo
on the right there often newspapers will overhang the shelving that they’re on
which can cause warping and week in the newspaper and it can make it more easily
damaged if someone just brushes against it or falls off those brittle edges are
really easily detached or crumble just from slight movement and if you have a
lot of newspaper chances are you’ve seen those little newspaper crumbs those sort
of edges all over the floor probably all over the shelves as well I also see
newspapers rolled up and stored in flat files or in cardboard boxes or plastic
bins when newspapers or stored rolled up like this they can become extremely
difficult to open again as the paper becomes brittle with age or if they’re
exposed to very low humidity that also makes them brittle so looking at the
example on the left there those newspapers are they’re in pretty bad
shape they will most likely require humidification and further conservation
treatment to open and access them which can be expensive and time-consuming and
it looks like so many pieces have broken off that to be honest putting them back
together to get any information from them is going to be really really
difficult and again as I just mentioned story newspapers and a plastic bin is
also creating that and that microclimate that we want to avoid in general I recommend that unbound
newspapers are stored in acid-free lignin free buffered folders the term
buffered means that it has an alkaline reserve which helps to offset some of
that acidic deterioration some of those acidic byproducts putting those folders
in a drop front or drop site archival box with a lid means that they’re
further protected from physical damage and it means that they can be more
stayed safely stored on a shelf without worrying about edges being knocked off
things like that there are kits that you can buy from Gaylord and other archival
preservation supply outlets and some of them come with polyethylene bags I don’t
really love story newspapers and plastic bags because of that microclimate issue
I mentioned earlier but one way around this is to make sure that it isn’t
sealed on all sides and by putting a piece of buffered acid-free and lignin
free paper or cardstock in there for support and just for a little bit of
alkalinity but you again you don’t really want to seal that newspaper in on
all four sides if you have lots of newspapers folding them in appropriate
folders and then storing multiple newspapers in a large acid-free lignin
free storage box is probably the best solution although it can make getting to
individual papers slightly more difficult and it will provide but it
will provide sorry both support and it will help to keep them protected bound
newspapers should be stored the way that oversize books are if they’re smaller
and they fit vertically on a shelf then they should be kept upright you do want
to use bookends to support them and you should avoid allowing them to slump
against one another or against the edges of the Shelf which can cut into them if
the volumes are large and a lot of bound newspaper volumes tend to be really
really large you do want to store them hmm excuse me horizontally on a shelf
um and stacked no more than three high so you don’t want to you know you don’t
want to have six or seven on top of each other because that will put pressure on
the lower newspapers if the binding is falling apart or they’re unstable they
can be put into an archival book box or you can also tie them together with
cotton twill tape or the volume and acid-free lignin free
paper um ideally you should have metal shelving systems for archival storage
with large enough shelves but sometimes you do work with what you’ve got you
might have wood shelving for example and wood can be problematic and that it can
off gas or expose items to other pollutants through varnishes paints etc
things like that but this risk can be minimized by putting a buffer material
even something as simple as a piece of blotter or mylar on the shelf or simply
making sure that the newspapers are stored in boxes or folders so that
they’re not directly against that wood if you do store newspapers and flat
files you want to make sure that they’re folded rather than just in they’re loose
in those doors and that the drawer is deep enough so that the edges of the
newspapers don’t catch as you’re closing it I see that quite quite a bit it
happens when people are shutting drawers that newspapers will get sort of jammed
in the back and often by the time you realize it’s happening they’ve kind of
already gotten crunched up a lot of the damaged newspapers face comes from poor
handling both in the past and in their lives now is our Bible objects that need
care we have to remember that newspapers were originally meant to be looked at
and then tossed so many newspapers even ones that were saved as special items
have been folded or squished or rolled up they’ve been torn they’ve had things
torn out of them newspapers which were bound can suffer damage to the binding
as a result of poor storage or bad handling or you know simply age what we
can control now is how these items are handled when they get to us and this
starts with how staff handled them and extends to teaching visitors and
researchers the best way to handle them when things become so fragile the
handling them becomes destructive that might mean making the decision to not
allow excuse me this is my voice do not allow an item to be handled ideally
though you do want to consider digitization options before items are
so damaged that they can’t be handled a sort of funny effect has been observed
and and that’s the more something is digitized the more materials are
digitized often the more researchers and visitors will want to see them in person
because you know they may not have known it was there they may see it and think
wow that’s really amazing I’d like to actually see that for myself and
sometimes people really really just want to touch the real thing particularly
people who aren’t as comfortable with computers so starting a digitization
program while your items are still strong enough to be handled is also
important because they need to be handled enough to photograph during
digitization projects and digitization and conservation both require a lot of
object handling ironically you know they’re designed to save the object but
they do require a lot of handling themselves good handling practices
should be maintained by both staff and by researchers and visitors and staff
should feel comfortable with telling visitors how to handle materials
correctly often incorrect handling only occurs because people haven’t been shown
the right way to do it found newspapers should be supported
using a book cradle or a book pillow while they’re being consulted by
researchers and you can make an inexpensive book pillow out of tie back
filled with poly beads or another soft material really easy very cheap
newspaper edges should be turned slowly and carefully making sure not to turn
the pages from that very very edge which do tend to be the most brittle and
fragile areas of the newspapers and when transporting unbound newspapers they
should be kept in a rigid folder box or on a cart so that they do have enough
support to keep them from flopping over and of course you do want to make sure
that the work or consulting space is large enough to accommodate the
newspaper once it’s unfolded or open and that the edges don’t hang over the side
of the table or desk and this is also important during processing your
institution may want to also think about having a good handling policy in place
which outlines what is and isn’t allowed in the reading room and storage spaces
this can cover food and drink how to hold materials how you using a pencil
instead of a pen and correct methods of holding and
consulting fragile materials and it’s kind of nice to have that policy well
for many reasons but it does allow you to if you do have a visitor researcher
who’s you know maybe a little bit resistant to your handling suggestions
you can refer them to the policy and some institutions actually have visitors
sign the bottom of the policy stating that they’ve read they’ve read what it
contains so there are times where good storage and handling are just not going
to cut it and more drastic interventive action needs to take place it’s pretty
rare for newspapers to undergo conservation treatment particularly
since digitization has become so widespread but it’s not unheard of
especially for very important rare or valuable individual newspapers there are
a few things that conservators can do to treat damaged newspapers it used to be
fairly common for conservators to perform D acidification treatments in
which the pH of the newspaper is adjusted by a treatment which introduces
an alkaline agent you may have seen sprays such as bookkeepers friend and
preservation supply catalogs but conservators don’t generally promote
using them since they can be hard to use correctly and they can also age and
unexpected ways so if you do see those things that promise nasty if excuse me D
acidification treatments like bookkeepers friend you do want to avoid
those because they don’t always turn out the way that you would like but a paper
conservator can use other methods to raise that pH hmm and the newspaper
um that’s that’s you know a little bit more complicated to explain but it’s
definitely doable newspaper clippings can also be lined on conservators can
mend tears on papers if you do have something that you want treated the
American Institute for conservation has a helpful feature called find a
conservator where you can enter the type of material that you want treated and
your location to find a list of paper conservators near you and you can always
email me if you have questions about this AIC has just changed our website so
it is cultural heritage or and from there there’s a link that will
show you how to enter the find a conservator area framing an especially
valuable clipping using a sealed package with zeolites or other molecular traps
is another option particularly if you want to display something if you have
you know a particular newspaper or newspaper clipping that you that you
would like to put on exhibition this creates a healthy microclimate for an
item and the molecular traps help to remove pollution from the environment
within the frame lighting a box with micro chamber paper which has zeolites
is another way to do this it also slows down fluctuations and relative humidity
and temperature inside of that sealed package and finally if you have
something incredibly special valuable important or otherwise you can store a
newspaper in cold storage you want to follow instructions for correctly
packaging it so that you don’t have condensation in the packaging and there
are a number of really good resources online for packaging items for cold
storage and you can also email me with questions if that is something that you
want to do so before I turn you over to Jen I’m just going to quickly sum up
what we talked about today ideally you do want to keep the environment stable
with minimal fluctuations and temperature and relative humidity and
you also want to avoid light exposure you want to avoid sealing newspapers and
plastic boxes or bags which can create an unwanted microclimate you do want to
take care when handling newspapers watch for brittle edges take care when
unfolding stiff or brittle materials things that don’t feel like they want to
yield you know that maybe that’s something you don’t want to force and
you do want to have a good handling policy in place for researchers and
visitors so newspaper do’s keep independent data loggers in every space
collections are used stored and exhibited that’s just good practice
generally you want to use supplementary dehumidifiers or air-conditioning units
when needed for example during the summer if you don’t have a good HVAC
system or an HVAC system at all you want to practice good housekeeping including
regular dusting and you want to use appropriate supportive storage
materials that are buffered to help mitigate damage stemming from the
inherit acidity of newspapers these paper don’ts don’t let newspapers
overhang a shelf or a table don’t store newspapers rolled up for long periods of
time or really at all that would it would be good thing to avoid rolling
them up at all don’t store newspapers in areas with high temperatures or relative
humidity or rapidly fluctuating temperatures or relative humidity if
you’ve you know you if you know you have a basement with a problem with dampness
probably don’t want to store your newspapers down there and again you
don’t want to put them in a sealed plastic container or an acidic cardboard
box so if you have any questions about anything that I’ve talked about we will
have time at the end of the webinar we’re leaving quite a bit of time after
Jen’s part of the presentation you can also email me at G Marcus at DEHP SNY
org I’m always happy to help no question is too stupid or too weird so send them
in and as a reminder this webinar will be available on dips knees website so
now I’m going to turn you over to Jennifer Paul Monteiro to talk about
digital solutions for your newspaper collections
take it away Jen are you are you on long hear me I think I am can you hear okay
great and thank you so much Gillian for that awesome information I certainly
learned a lot I don’t know much about the physical side of things being a
digital librarian but that was quite a science lesson so thank you for that and
yes now I’m going to spend the rest of the presentation talking about
reformatting newspapers focusing primarily on digitization Thank You
Jillian for advancing my slide so first before we get started just a little bit
about who I am and where I’m coming from so there is a face to go with the voice
for the rest of this session and I am the digital services librarian at the
southeastern New York library resources Council we are one of nine multi
type library systems that comprise the Empire State Library Network if you
aren’t familiar with southeastern or Cine lurk represented in the tan on the
map in the beautiful Hudson Valley you might be familiar with your regional
counsel Empire State Library Network councils
provide a variety of services to libraries and cultural heritage
organizations in New York and for over ten years my council has coordinated a
regional meaning Hudson Valley related newspaper digitization project as part
of our suite of digitization services I’ve been very involved in that project
since the beginning I’ve certainly learned a lot over the last 10 years and
I hope to share some of that with you today our sister council in northern New
York up in the light blue they’re the northern New York library Network they
have been coordinating a statewide newspaper digitization service for
probably about as long as we’ve been in operation down in the Hudson Valley and
so I’ll be sharing a little bit more about those two services later in this
presentation because those are certainly options you can explore for providing
access to your newspapers first just a little bit about microfilming because
newspaper digitization is really popular in libraries and cultural heritage
organizations but there are costs to doing it well and if you’re if you’d
like to digitize from your newspaper collections and you don’t yet have the
funds secured to do that and the paper you want to digitize or papers you want
to digitize haven’t already been micro filmed microfilming could be an
important and affordable first step digitizing from microfilm is less
expensive than digitizing from paper so microfilming as a first step will save
you money in the long run as opposed to doing a massive digitization project
from all paper and film is still one of the best preservation formats we have
and so film doesn’t exist yet for a paper it’s a smart move to get it filmed if you decide to microfilm you want to
work with a reputable vendor that follows microfilming standards and
guidelines and if you don’t know yet if your paper has been filmed you can check
the New York state library website they have a whole space on their website
dedicated to something called the New York State newspaper project for I think
over twenty years or about twenty years the State Library coordinated a massive
newspaper microfilming project and you can search and browse this website in a
number of ways by title by county by city I think to see what has been filmed
and where film is located and you can request duplicates through the state
library’s reference services as well okay we’ll be talking a little bit more
about film leader specifically how to evaluate film during a selection process
for digitization so more on film later but let’s talk about newspaper
digitization projects and all the things you need to think about before you
embark on such an adventure again I’m going to talk primarily about digitizing
and from microfilm because that is the most likely scenario digitizing from
paper provides really good results but again it is more expensive and some big
newspaper projects will likely include starting from some paper either to fill
in some gaps in Iran or perhaps there is a title that hasn’t yet been filmed so
you might be working with some paper but again I do recommend getting that paper
filmed microfilm created today by vendors who follow all the standards is
really good and you’ll get really good results if the source paper is in good
condition okay before you actually do anything plan and plan some more
consider the entire project and all its steps before you actually send your film
out to be digitized you want to communicate with your stakeholders
those are your co-workers your community your board potential funders and
collaborators and talk to people who’ve done this before there’s a lot of folks
in the state who have digitized newspapers so
touch with them find out how they did it what vendors did they use how was their
experience what did they learn if they had to do it all over again would they
do anything differently talk to your peers and document everything document
the steps you took document your evaluation process we’re going to talk
about evaluating microfilm and paper and you’re going to want to document your
choices your successors will be very thankful that you did that and right
make a plan write a plan for yourself right so let’s
talk about planning for a little while okay when planning a newspaper project
you want to think about who you are doing this for why you’re doing it what
papers will be digitized who is going to do the work and how you will store
manage preserve and provide access to the digitized newspapers and of course
how you will pay for it these questions should be answered and documented in a
written project plan I’m going to unpack each of these bullet points for you a
little bit as I go along so let’s start with selection selection is a really
important step for any digitization project you might not need or want to
digitize every title or every reel of microfilm in your collection
so I recommend thinking about your audience and defining a primary audience
if you can this isn’t always easy to do there’s certainly a lot of different
audiences that can benefit from digitized newspapers but you might have
one in mind already so some things to consider when you’re thinking about
audience you know the type of user are you looking to serve primarily
genealogists or the k12 community higher ed students and faculty or researchers
more broadly that’s one way to think about audience another way to think
about audiences by their location are you concerned primarily with your local
community of users right now and supporting them before all others is
providing access only in your building enough or do you want to support users
who can’t travel to your building if you do plan to put the newspapers online do
you want the text of the newspapers to be
indexed by search engines so that anyone can find the content whether or not they
know about your organization and your newspaper project do you want the papers
to be freely available online or are you okay with putting them behind a paywall
the answers to these questions will affect your decision-making specifically
what titles you select and how you provide access so think about that for a
little while because not all newspaper projects are created the same there are
lots of different ways to go about this so think about who you’re trying to
serve so that you can best meet their needs so a little audience anecdote for
you we have a local County genealogical society so guess who their primary
audience is genealogist and themselves to support their own research they have
very limited resources so what they decided to do was they digitized over 50
years worth of an annual supplement that was published in their paper of record
so every year on either December 31st or January 1st this pretty big substantial
regional paper published this supplement and in the supplement or all of the
years marriages and deaths and other local happenings the events the arrests
the business dealings accidents fires injuries etc so it provides a really
valuable resource for genealogy research without having to digitize the daily
paper it was a really brilliant strategy over 50 years worth of these supplements
they digitized and it didn’t cost them all that much relatively speaking
so again supporting genealogy research was their primary audience and goal and
doing this was just a great resource now also in these supplements is a whole
like kind of year-in-review of both international and national news so that
is also you know as a secondary audience the k-12 community could probably really
benefit from from those supplements alright so let’s move on to content so
get to know the content of your collection in terms of selecting a title
that might be done for you already you might just have one paper of record in
your community so it’s it’s one and done but if you do have multiple titles to
choose from you want to evaluate them for a number of things including content
if you have it defined audience you will want to select titles with the content
that meets their needs what is most important or useful to them do they want
mostly like that hyper local news or more regional or state or national or
some combination of all of them different titles really kind of have
some different content and so it’s a good idea to look through and see what
you’re working with another thing to think about is what’s most requested now
among your user community and start there so you absolutely have to consider
copyright when you’re going through the selection process papers published pre
1924 so that’s 1923 and earlier are in the public domain and can be digitized
without seeking permission before copyright laws changed in the 1980s and
granted copyright to any new work of authorship fixed in a tangible tangible
medium there were certain formalities that had to be met in order to obtain
and renew copyright if those formalities were not met by newspaper publications
and publishers then you may indeed be free and clear to digitize them but I
would recommend getting some legal counsel before you do several of our
contributing organisations have worked with with lawyers to move beyond the
1924 mark okay another thing you can consider is talking to publishers if
they are still in business they have been known to grant permission in some
cases even if you are digitizing only public domain papers it’s a nice
courtesy to let publishers know you are doing it they might give you some press
when your collection is available online we’ve had that experience in the past as
well okay so you want to think about quantity looks like some of my slides
look a little weird I don’t know if ever anyone’s seeing that or not but I’ll
just talk and fill in the blanks I’m so quantity how long of a run do you have
access to is it better to digitize a long run of one title than scatterings
of multiple titles that’s just something to think about another way to think
about quantity is the daily versus the weekly is there enough content in a week
we paper to meet the needs of your users you can get more bang for your buck
digitizing a weekly versus a daily and you also want to think about quality and
this is really key to the selection process and the evaluation process you
want to evaluate the features and the quality of the source paper and the
quality of the microfilm and you can do some of this at the same time by looking
at service copies of microfilm when it comes to digitizing you do want to
digitize from- microfilm more on that in a minute but
you can learn a lot by looking at positive service copies in terms of
paper quality is there a lot of bleed through kind of weird fonts is the text
real squishy in in columns is there not a lot of space around it just some
things to look for was the paper deteriorating when it was filmed Jillian
just gave us a lot of information and a lot of images to look at a kind of fill
of paper and bad shape and sometimes you know the paper was was filmed that way
so there could be holes and tears folds and creases and other damage that can
interfere with creating good images and good searchable text another thing to
notice when you’re looking at service copies is if the paper was bound when it
was microfilm there could be gutter shadows or page
curvatures or poor and uneven focus you know within a page or within a real so
you want to look at for those kinds of features we’re gonna talk a little bit
more about this in a minute but during the reformatting process searchable text
is generated from the digitized images through a process called optical
character recognition and kind of poor quality source material either the paper
and/or the film could affect the ability to make the paper searchable so and it
may be that you don’t have any other choice this may be the best that’s going
to get especially if the original papers had a lot of damage and deterioration
then that it is what it is but just know what you’re going to get and that could
affect some of the decisions you make and how much you
spend to digitize them provide access if you’re not going to get very good
searchable results at the end of the day another thing to think about as you’re
evaluating the service copies is do you notice where the papers filmed in
chronological order that could be an issue so you’ll want to document that so
that you can communicate that with a vendor another thing we noticed when we
were doing these projects sometimes with daily papers there was a Morning Edition
and an evening edition and sometimes when they were filmed
they only filmed the unique content of the evening edition so let’s say the
last few pages were all ads and the ads were the same in both editions they
might not have filmed those ads for the evening edition and only the first
couple pages where the content was different so you want to notice those
things so that you can communicate with a vendor around that and how you want to
handle that all right so we’re going to take a little bit of a deeper dive into
kind of the quality issue and talk a little bit about microfilm evaluation
the better you know the nature and quality of your microfilm the more
successful your project will be and you’ll be able to communicate with
vendors effectively if you know what kind of film you’re sending them and
again document all of this I recommend either having like forms or some kind of
spreadsheet where as you’re going through wheels and you know if you have
a really large collection you will probably not evaluate every real but the
reels that you do evaluate you might want to keep track of some of these
characteristics okay the first one is image orient well let me run down this
this list for you so we’re gonna talk about image orientation we’re going to
talk about film generation and pull our polarity that’s whether it’s positive or
negative the film type the reduction ratio the density and the focus so image
orientation this is what we’re talking about so how was it filmed how are the
images on the film sometimes they were shot you
know two pages together as you can see here so ideally you would want film
that’s either the 1a or the 1b where you just have one page for Frank per frame
they also tend to be larger images 1a is probably ideal that’s you probably get
the best results with that and it’s usually referred to as one up or two up
and sometimes vendors might ask you that whether you have one up or two up and
that means whether it’s one page for frame or two for frame and another
reason you want to know this is cuz some vendors will charge a per page
processing fee so if you’re looking at your microfilm and you see that you
actually have two pages in one shot you’re gonna you’re going to need to
double your page count so you can get give them an accurate number of how many
pages you’re sending them and know what it’s going to cost you and this is an
important one as I mentioned you’re gonna want to ideally digitize from a
master negative and it’s usually a second generation master negative you
wouldn’t want to digitize off the the first generation but you try to avoid a
service copy even if it hasn’t been run through a reader because it is the far
the more generations you go the the there is some quality loss it kind of
loses some focus so your print master negative that second generation is
ideally what you’d want to do so if you can find who has a master negative if
you don’t have one in your collection and get that duplicated then that is
what you’ll want to send to a vendor I do highly recommend avoiding service
copies that have been run through readers because they get scratched and
those scratches will show up on the digital images and they will affect the
ability to generate good searchable text off those images so your film based
types polyester is recommended and that’s ideally what you want to use it’s
more durable and it is recommended for scanning its star
being used in the mid-1980s so older film created before them is likely
acetate you ideally want to duplicate acetate reels on to polyester before
scanning acetate is prone to deterioration warping curling buckling
and it can also be brittle so it can tear during digitization if your film
smells like vinegar it is acetate and it means it’s
deteriorating so you’re gonna want to try to save that first and and get that
information off of that acetate film and on to polyester film I don’t know much
about film but I’ve heard from some people who do and many of you out there
who work in in libraries and have film collections probably know better than I
that if you pull a few inches of film out and it curls it is likely acetate and so then the emulsion types silver
halide is preferred diazo is a bluish tone and it is used on surface copies
but if you get well I just want you to know about this a little bit because if
you order duplicates of microfilm sometimes you have a choice of silver
halide or diazo and diazo might cost you a little less but you want to go for the
silver halide ideally if you’re getting film deep do you want it duped from that
master- and you want a second generation silver halide polyester negative to
digitize okay reduction ratio is important when you’re evaluating film
the reduction ratio should be identified on preservation quality microfilm and
lower is better if you can find in an 8 X 2 14 X that’s great what you’re most
likely to find is the 15 X – 24 X and you know experts in the field say 20 or
lower is preferred for newspaper digitization and the reduction ratio is
the size of the filmed image compared to the size of the original document and
it’s generally referred to with an X so 12 X represents the reduction ratio of
12 to 1 with means that the size of the image on the
film will be 1/12 of the size of the actual paper and just one more thing
about microfilm evaluation and I considered not including this slide
because to truly measure and evaluate the density and resolution requires some
equipment that you are likely to not have in your library or organization but
I want you to know about it because it is important to what you’re going to get
the results you’re going to get so density is the numerical measurement of
contrast between the image and the non image background of the microfilm or
essentially it’s the measurement of light able to pass through the film and
if the density is too light or too dark contrast is compromised and focus
problems become more apparent and there is actually you know a little machine
called a densitometer that actually you can use on the film to measure that and
then with resolution again master you know preservation microfilm should
have resolution targets on it and then you’re supposed to use a microscope to
kind of look at those and see see what your your resolution and your focus is
like that’s probably not something we can do but just I wanted to let you know
that contrast and focus could be issues so as you’re evaluating service copies
just look for kind of differences in contrast you can tell if the contrast is
too low if you know the text is very light on the background and and that
could affect again the quality of the images you produce and the OCR text
consistency and density is is more important I mean ideally you want good
contrast but if you have a whole reel that’s kind of low that is something you
can tell a vendor and they can adjust for that it’s just hard to adjust when
the density is and then there’s a variation within one reel so again
consistency is what you’re going for if you can’t necessarily have it be ideal
in a reel so now we’re going to look at a couple
examples of what you could get from microfilm you could end up with images
that look like this or like this or like this here’s another one and one more
here’s an you know an issue of contrast not being ideal and so all of these
images that I showed you could produce searchable texts that looks like this if
you even get this many letters out of out of it sometimes it can’t read
anything at all sometimes you just get a bunch of special characters when you’re
running those images through that optical character recognition process so
I just want you to know you know kind of garbage in garbage out it’s a it’s
really true with with newspaper digitization when you’re working with
with older film and you will likely have some of these quality issues in any mass
digitization project you’re going to do with with newspapers but at least you
know what to expect from the results and you should not let the perfect be the
enemy of the good when it comes to newspaper digitization it’s really
unavoidable to deal with some of this unless you’re starting with really good
quality paper and creating really good quality film and then digitizing from
that then you’ll you’ll get pretty pretty darn good results but you’re
gonna end up with some some text that looks like this in any project you have so I want to talk a little bit about
some of the digital reformatting kind of things to think about specifications
file formats without going into too much detail because newspapers digitization
is not like digitizing postcards or photographs or other things in your
collection and I personally recommend outsourcing rather than trying to do a
mass digitization project in-house with newspapers if you’re a small
organization with limited resources it’s best to leave this work to the
professionals who already have the hardware and software necessary to to
produce searchable newspapers but here are just some things to consider
typically 300 to 400 PPI that’s your scanning resolution is what your is what
most vendors are going to produce 400 is kind of the gold standard that’s not
always achievable if you have a really high reduction ratio then they might
have to go down to 300 and some shops 300 is their go to but that’s about what
you can expect in terms of the scanning resolution in terms of file formats
there are kind of different flavors for these kinds of projects and what gets
produced at the end of the day some vendors or service providers at the end
of the day you get a searchable PDF and that’s what you get some processes
produced all three of these file formats you get Tiff’s for kind of your master
archival format of your digital images that you can then you know do something
with later and then they might produce what’s called a JPEG 2000 for viewing
online and a searchable PDF so sometimes all three are produced sometimes one
sometimes two there’s differences but just so you can kind of know how to
communicate with vendors about what their process is and know what you want
at the end of the day one thing to consider is by tonal versus grayscale
scanning by tonal means that the resulting images are pure black and
white there’s no shades of gray in between the
only colors represented on the image is our black and white we’re going to talk
about that a little bit more on the next slide so I’ll go into a little more
detail about that in a minute and then there’s always an optical character
resolution process through the reformatting that’s what makes the
newspaper searchable oftentimes Tiff’s are created to do the OCR but then
sometimes the Tiff’s are not retained the ending result is a searchable PDF
again sometimes if you’re presenting you know if your process presents JPEG 2000s
online then the OCR file is a separate file and they work together and
sometimes those presentations also have PDFs for downloading our processes here
in southeastern produce all three file formats
Toofer kind of your master file and then we present JPEG 2000s with an external
OCR file and searchable PDF online so I want to
mention here the ndnp which stands for the National Digital newspaper program
because if you’re out there exploring reformatting vendors you will likely see
on some of their websites that they can adhere to the ndmp specifications and
standards so the National Digital newspaper program is a joint program of
the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities they’ve
been doing this project for gosh probably 15 years now give or take and
they have developed specifications for their project it’s a grant program
Library of Congress takes care of the technical side of things and the NIH
funds these and they are state level grants usually one institution in a
state gets the grant to do to kind of coordinate a collaborative project
within that state to digitize multiple newspapers and they want all of their
awardees to follow their specifications so I just want you to know about them in
case you’re talking to vendors and mets/alto are the metadata standards
that are part of those specifications so again just so you can speak the language
a little bit I’m not going to go into too much detail but Metz stands for the
metadata encoding and transmission standard and it is used to record the
structural metadata for a newspaper issue and also can include some
descriptive and administrative metadata and then alt o stands for analyze layout
and text object and it’s the Aalto metadata record that holds the OCR and
also encodes some other interesting information about what’s going on on a
page so text font styles and sizes are recorded and where words are positioned
on a page and it also includes some information about columns and lines and
things on the page again I just want you to know this so when you go out and
start talking to vendors because you will see this on some of their websites
I was curious you know because we work with some go-to
but there are a lot more out there a lot more than I realized I hadn’t looked in
a while and I did see that a lot of vendors say that they produce and DNP
special specs so in our process at Southeastern follow us those
specifications pretty closely okay so I wanted to take a little bit of a deeper
dive into bye tonal versus grayscale imaging because this is important and I
want you to know about it as you think about what you want to do and as you
talk to vendors because some vendors do have a go to they might be more of a bi
tonal shop than a grayscale shop and if you want grayscale images you need to
talk to them about that some you know grayscale is their go-to so as you can
see here scanning a grayscale will get you much better quality when it comes to
images in your newspapers so if you’re dealing with more modern newspaper
content that has a lot of photographs in it you should really consider grayscale
because you’ll lose something as you can see here if you do buy tonal scanning
another thing to consider is if you have low contrast on some of your film and
you’re just doing black and white scanning that by tonal scanning you
could also lose something in the text because you know the machines gonna look
at those letters and decide whether it’s white or it’s black and that’s your only
choices so if you don’t have good contrast you could get what’s called
drop out where you it’s not going to capture the letter fully you’ll have
like white splotches within your letters and then you’ll get bad OCR results I
have absolutely seen really good buy tonal scans and good OCR if you’ve got
really good contrast in your film and not a lot of images by tonal could be a
great way to go but I just want you to know the difference and this is why you
know evaluating what you have is really important when figuring out which which
mode you want to use okay so let’s talk about some options
for getting this done now that we’ve talked all about how to make the best
selection decisions how can you and do this and who can you work with and there
are a number of things you can do lots of options out there so as a
representative of the Empire State Library Network I need to tell you about
what we’re doing and how we can help you so I’ll start with our service here in
the Hudson Valley so again this is just Hudson Valley related so if you’re in
our service area we cover you know the eight counties in the Hudson Valley and
we have worked with some Westchester organizations as well we can certainly
support you in doing newspaper digitization we do use them at salto
standards our process does produce the tips the jpeg2000 and the pdfs and
primarily how we support you is in the hosting we license software called
Veridian and that is how we host our newspapers online and we’ve also
produced the specifications so we do have a couple go to vendors but there
are more vendors out there who can produce deliverables according to our
specs and we can kind of get you going and get you set up with vendors and then
we can provide the hosting for you I just want to say here because you’re
looking at this screenshot if you see the register and login buttons nothing
is behind a paywall users do not have to create an account
to use any of the content on our system users can create an accounts and they
are free and it just allows them to do some more things primarily save their
search results they can save and annotate and create lists and email them
to themselves and things like that so that’s all I’m going to say about that
because most of you are probably not in the Hudson Valley so let’s move on and
talk about the statewide project that is coordinated by my sister council up in
the North Country now they are kind of an A to Z shop so why we do not and my
council do any of the reformatting for you the northern New York Library
network does so you can send them your microfilm and they’ll
provide an A to Z service for you they do the scanning from microfilm only I
don’t believe they work with paper and I do think they outsource one small piece
of the process but they facilitate all of that on your behalf so again you just
send them the film and they’ll take care of the rest they do charge for their
reformatting services but they don’t have any fees for hosting right now and
you can work with other reformatting vendors if even if you want them to be
your presentation solution but I highly recommend that you contact them first
and let them know that you want them to host because they can point you to
vendors that can produce the deliverables they need that go kind of
seamlessly into their system and their website is also a good place to check to
see if your papers have already been digitized so you might want to start
there and see what’s been done and maybe how you can fill in some gaps if if some
of your papers are already there and I do want to give a little shout out to
Chuck Henry up there at the northern New York library network he and I spoke for
about 30 minutes when I was preparing this presentation and he has shared some
nuggets of wisdom with you all through me today so there are other options
there are quite a few these are only some so beyond working with with us down
at southeastern or upstate so one of my pieces of advice is if you plan to work
with multiple vendors or service providers just as I mentioned if you you
know want your papers hosted up in the North Country
make sure you talk to your hosting service provider first because access
systems have requirements for file formats file naming conventions
directory structures and metadata so you want to make sure that your reformatting
vendor can produce what is needed for your access system so kind of start at
the access and work backwards from there and viridian is the software that we use
at South Eastern and you could certainly work with them directly
and they can I don’t think they do a lot all the reformatting but again I do
believe you could send them film and they can contract some pieces out and
then they can bring you up and a Veridian site for yourself I’m seeing
things that sing some messages that some sound is cutting out do I sound ok to
everybody or am i cutting out okay and I’ll just keep going okay maybe it was
on there and all right so the Internet Archive does host newspapers and they
also provide scanning when I looked at their website it said that it was a
pilot project but I believe it’s been going on for quite a while and I just
checked recently and there were some new newspapers uploaded just last week so
that could be an option for you advantage preservation is a big one I
know a lot of libraries and historical societies have worked with them and then
newspapers comm and now that is one where you don’t pay for any of the
reformatting they will reformat for you but then your newspapers go behind a
paywall and I don’t know much about it beyond
that like how much it would then cost you to license the database can you just
subscribe to your paper or do you have to subscribe to the whole database I’m
not sure but that I know that some libraries have gone that route as well
but if you are going to work with any of these folks or a combination of them
just something some things to consider and some things to ask for can they
produce a sample for you to review before committing some vendors will do
this for little or no cost it’s worth asking send them a reel and let them
work with it especially if it’s an A to Z shop you know if they can take your
film and reformat it and provide a presentation solution for you have them
do a test for you before you sign anything and what is their policy for
dealing with bad film that won’t produce good images or good OCR
will they stop work and let you know or do they just keep going some are kind
and will stop and let you know and some won’t so this is again why you know kind
of doing your investigation and your evaluation is very helpful because at
least you can say to them like I know that these rules are not awesome but
it’s all I have to work with so the more you do your homework the better off
you’re going to be but ask them that because maybe they’ll they’ll stop if
it’s really bad is there a way to correct bad OCR within the system
Viridian does have that and that’s the software we use a southeastern and it’s
awesome and it’s a great way to crowdsource the correction of bad OCR if
the vendor provides online hosting and the contents of the papers are the
contents of the papers indexed by search engines the answer may be no and if
that’s important to you you should ask I’m going to tell you a little story
about that in a minute so and then find out what formats they
produce do they produce Tiff’s and then destroy them do you want them do you get
searchable PDFs are there jpeg2000 involved again those are the three
typical formats and you just kind of want to know what kind of deliverables
you’re going to get at the end of that and if they provide hosting do you get a
set of the files back so you want to ask all these questions so let’s talk a
little bit about I just want to tell you a little story so my friend will I was
visiting will about six months ago and he lives in Dona New Rochelle in
Westchester County and in historic housing neighborhood I used it was one
of the early gated communities I don’t know if in the state or the country but
pretty big community not gated anymore but it is a historic district and he was
telling me all about the history of his neighborhood and his home specifically
you know there was a musician who lived there in the late 1800s who had a music
school out of his house I don’t know it was fascinating he knew a lot and I
finally stopped and I asked him I said where did you learn all this information
and he said old Scarsdale newspapers that he found online when the Scarsdale
Enquirer the historic newspapers happen to be in
our site so of course I had a big smile over that and then when I was preparing
for this presentation I thought to ask him you know and I just saw him last
weekend and I said hey well I said if you were doing those searches cuz he he
found his way there through Google he was just he had a curiosity and he was
searching online and happened to have newspapers answer his questions but I
asked him I said if you had been presented with a paywall like if you’ve
done those searches clicked on a result and then it said hey you can look at
this content for $9.99 a month and cancel your subscription at any time
would you have paid for that and he said no and if he had said yes I would tell
you how much again this is just one person it’s just an antidote but you
know it just it’s a way to think about kind of those other users who may not be
your primary users and how newspapers can help them and if you want to help
someone like will because he would have never thought to go to the library
couple towns over even to their website to see if they had newspapers there or
to go into the building and but he found them and he was you know thrilled with
all of the information he found and he told me he has bookmarked the site so
that he can go back whenever he has another question he wants answered so
think about will and in your decision-making process and if that
helps you make some decisions about how you can serve people with your
newspapers and again there are lots of options here that you can explore and we
are here to help you at the Empire State Library network so give us a call and we
can tell you all about what we do and how to think about some of these other
options so we need to talk about digital storage and preservation and kind of
sustainability for a few minutes so large newspaper projects produce massive
amounts of files as I mentioned our process produces Tiff’s and JPEG 2000s
and PDFs of every page and then also a PDF of every issue that’s a lot of files
if you will be receiving these of all the files produced you need
to plan for the storage and preservation of those files and the sustainability of
your project what options are more sustainable and will keep you going we
don’t know what the field is going to look like 10 15 20 years from now so
making decisions now that that can you know better ensure that you can move
this forward through time is important so following standards is important the
more standards-based your approach is the better off you’re going to be
because at some point everybody following those standards might have to
move to the next thing but there’ll be a migration path and we’ll kind of all be
on it together digital media is very fragile and vulnerable just like the
paper and files can be lost without proper management so typically in the
world of digital preservation kind of digitized materials created from analog
resources are a lower priority than born digital resources that are one-of-a-kind
and if they’re lost they’re lost forever you can always go back and scan the
original again that said large newspaper projects come at considerable costs if
you spend 10 20 30 thousand dollars on a project you really don’t want to go back
and have to do that again so again following standards getting
open stable formats is really important and then thinking about the policies
procedures and the people necessary to ensure that those files are accessible
in the long term you might not have digital preservation policies and
procedures in place right now and that’s ok if you’re going to embark on a
project like this now might be a good time to think about digital preservation
more broadly in your organization and guess what there’s a Dipsy webinar for
that that has become my new catchphrase there is a dip cine webinar for
everything I haven’t watched it but it is called I believe digital preservation
for small repositories so you might want to check that out if you’re going to
undertake a massive digitization project like that and get some good ideas for
storing and managing and preserving those files over the long term
you might have some policy policies and procedures and staff dedicated to other
kind of collection management things our disaster recovery kind of things that
maybe you can insert these files you’re gonna get into some of those policies
and procedures and responsibilities now just to make sure that they’re safe for
the long term multiple copies is a really good idea too is great three is
better with one stored off-site you might want to consider some cloud
storage there are certainly full-blown digital
preservation services you can explore they are very expensive so maybe you
scale up to something like that but in the meantime talk to your vendors talk
to your service providers what can they do to help you if anything some might
have some add-on services or some good ideas or some strategies for you
so it’s it’s worth talking to them about all of this alright so let’s talk a
little bit about funding and how you can pay for all of this these are just some
scenarios that have worked in my region friends groups if you’re in public
libraries they’ve been incredibly supportive of these projects I know
several libraries that have gotten funding from their friends groups to pay
for digitization in newspapers I’ve also seen several collaborations and
partnerships form if multiple organizations within a community you
know even within one town or you know at the county level could all benefit from
the same titles being digitized then pull your resources together and do a
shared project some of my members have gotten support from their municipalities
their local governments and also some county governments of help support some
of these projects and then community fundraising has been very successful and
helps fill in some of the gaps you’re probably not going to raise all the
money you need for a newspaper project from from your community but it could be
a way to get some funding local banks have been known to support these
projects a little bit not a lot but every little bit helps one of my
libraries had a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise some money to do a few
years of a newspaper so you could explore that option there are other
crowdfunding platforms that might work better for you the digital Public
Library of America in two days is having a free webinar on using Kickstarter in
libraries so you might want to attend that because you could probably get some
good tips for how to do crowd fundraising even if you don’t use
Kickstarter as a platform and likely you’ll use some combination of all of
these to get a project done I didn’t put grants on here because they’re not easy
to get for for big newspaper projects but that said some of my sister councils
do provide digitization grants and they will provide grants for digitizing
newspapers I’m not sure which all of them that do versus don’t but if you are
a member of your local and Peyer State Library Network council that could be a
source of funding for you as well so you want to explore that as an option and
also there’s a new IMLS grant category specifically for small libraries and
they do have a community memory category within that if you do a web search for
IMLS small libraries community memory it’ll come right up the deadline for
this round was yesterday so maybe planned for next year again I
don’t know if they’ll fund newspapers but it’s it’s worth looking into
so those could be some possibilities for funding and another thing to consider in
terms of funding because if you’re looking to do a big project it could
really cost you a lot of money but you don’t have to do it all at once some
vendors are very good about chunking the work for you like I have five thousand
dollars to spend this year and you can even send them all your film but they’ll
stop when they hit that five thousand dollar mark and then next year you send
them another five thousand dollars there are some vendors who will work with you
on that so it’s something to ask as you’re communicating with them and that’s about all I have to say about
funding so let’s just wrap it up where we started and think about you know for
a successful project you’re gonna want to plan you’re gonna want to communicate
at all different levels and you’re going to want to document I think a really
important thing to document is that kind of evaluation and selection process the
more you know those reels of microfilm and have that all documented the better
you can communicate with your vendors and you’ll really save your successors a
lot of time and not reinventing the wheel you’ll know they’ll know why you
didn’t choose something and why you did choose something else and have fun and
we’re here to help you so please do get in touch and that’s all I have and I
think we’ll take questions now great thank you
Thank You den if anyone has any questions um go ahead and yeah type them
in the box the question for you Jen okay so first
generation is the generation it’s the original microfilm created from the
paper when the paper was filmed the first roll
of film is the first generation and it tends to be a negative copy so it’s not
a positive copy that you look out through your microphone reader it is it
is negative and then the second generation is created from that first
generation and sometimes second generation is positive but it is often
negative and that’s what you want so if you have negative film in your
collection you might not know whether it’s 1st or 2nd generation sometimes it
says right right on the box what you got but oftentimes if you don’t
have any negative film you’re gonna have to find who holds it and the New York
State Library website can help you identify who had master microfilm and
then you’re gonna want to have them make a copy of that for you
that is also negative does that help ok see ok so I think we’re getting a lot of
questions about this so some if I can make if I can simplify it ok so you want
to ideally digitize from negative film rather than positive film and typically
you’re going to digitize from a negative film produced from the first generation
negative film so some vendor who can duplicate microfilm will take that first
generation master and create a second generation master negative off of it ok
so copyright so typically the copyright of the original source material carries
through to a reformatted version I think where we get where it
gets a little complicated with some microfilm is because there are outfits
was it um I back in the day ProQuest I you know that create
microfilm and then copyright it from public domain resources and I can’t
speak a lot about that I have my own personal feelings about that to me and
and I there has been case law that says an exact duplication of a public domain
work does not get a new copyright why not use the first generation because
it’s gonna go through a machine and you don’t want to ruin it so the first
generation film is the one it’s the pristine copy that everything else is
created off of so you don’t want to run that through microfilm scanning
equipment let’s see um looks like the next question is would you handle
digitizing and preserving large scrapbooks with news clippings in the
same manner as large newspapers in terms of preservation there it would be
similar in some ways but um there’s so many different types of materials
involved in scrapbooks that you know it’s sort of on a case-by-case basis um
but if you do have a fragile scrapbook keeping it in an archival book boxes is
a good place to start Jen do you have any digitization
suggestions for scrapbooks scrapbooks are bare they’re they’re the hardest I
think yeah they are the hardest I mean they’re they’re they’re different
because it’s a scrapbook so it’s it’s different in terms you can digitize them
I I haven’t personally done it but I’ve worked with organizations who have We
certainly have digitized scrapbooks on our site I just haven’t personally
scanned them myself I think some of the issues that make
scrapbooks challenging are sometimes when it’s a mix of formats it’s really
challenging what do you do when you have brochures in there that have multiple
pages you know if you have one that’s all clippings sometimes you know they’re
folded up right on top of each other so how do you present all of that it’s
tough and grace you and I know each other so you can call me and we’ll talk
it’s a good question though because there’s they’re always completely unique
each one’s different from the other so that is a good question I would
recommend outsourcing and just telling them what you want like I want every
possible thing that can be viewed digitized and then it’s a matter of how
you present that online let’s see let’s see storing newspaper articles original
format one article per folder or a few articles per folder so if you have the
full newspaper I would store each issue excuse me / folder when possible usually
there they’re thick enough to where that will sort of take up one folder if it’s
an exceptionally thin newspaper like maybe more of them oh I don’t know some
sort of you know ephemera or local newspaper or workplace newspaper um in
that case you can use a sheet of buffered acid-free lignin free paper in
between each one but yeah usually one issue of a
newspaper you know per folder depending on the size of it is good let’s see what
do you recommend for rusting staples attached to newspapers leave or remove
that’s a good question you know in theory you don’t want any rusting metal
in with your your artifacts but sometimes removing them can actually do
more damage than just leaving them alone so
to say that um you know if it’s a full staple that goes through all the way to
the back it’s going to be really difficult to get out you might
inadvertently do more damage so I would just leave it alone
you know if that item is very special or important you know conservator can
remove it pretty carefully or if the staples is not fully all the way through
the paper that’s a different situation but those can be tricky and they can
leave rust stains they can catch on things so if you know if it’s if it’s a
full staple it would just leave it alone there any other questions about there’s
another one let’s see and the cost of folders can be cost prohibitive when you
have years worth of a daily newspaper can issues just be stacked in a drop
front box or do you have another suggestion um yeah absolutely you can
stack them in a drop front box um if you know if you can’t afford those very
large folders one thing you can do is to put again a sheet of acid-free ligand
free buffered tissue paper or interleaving paper in between each issue
and you can usually get that by the roll and cut them just cut sheets which ends
up being a lot cheaper or you can actually use that paper to make a folder
so you just cut a large enough piece fold it in half and that’s that’s um a
really cheap way to make a folder but the really important thing in this
situation is having that box for protection I see more questions coming Carol are there special considerations
for bound newspapers do you mean for digitization or do you mean for handling
and storage for storage and handling yeah bound newspapers you you tend to
they tend to be really large and that binding is something to be concerned
with so just storing them horizontally on a shelf that’s big enough is usually
sufficient you can you can put them into a book box if it’s a very special bound
newspaper if you’re experiencing red rot with the binding it depends how old the
binding is that’s an institutional decision but um that can be wrapped in
an acid-free lignin free buffered paper and tied with twill tape for handling
again you know you do have to support the full the full book because it is a
very large book so you know consideration has to be given to having
a workspace for researchers that’s large enough for it to be opened and making
sure that it’s supported when it’s when it’s opened so basically just treating
it like a very large fragile book is what you want to do um and they’re
currently in flat files um you know if you don’t have anything else that needs
that flat file space and they’re the drawers are deep enough for those books
that’s fine you know if you have a shelf that is
large enough you can store them on the Shelf stack to no more than three high I
prefer to store you know sort of oversized bow material flat rather than
vertically and but if they’re in in flat files and you don’t need that space and
that’s there that’s fine for them to be in there okay let’s see you know we’re
looking into our school newspapers but can’t be sure occasional things like
syndicated comic swooping articles etc were originally cleared for copyright
any suggestions do you have any suggestions on that no
because that is that is a question of kind of underlying rights in talking to
some other people who know because I just asked a question very similar to
this about yearbooks and about student newspapers and copyright and if we
should have any concerns about that and I I was told published as published and
so if it’s pre 1923 or if it’s or 1924 and then there’s this gray area of you
know between like you know 24 and 64 and then another gray area that goes to 79
or something 76 where again though if those formalities weren’t met are they
in the public domain and some people would say yes I don’t know I I think
you’re you’re right to be cautious especially if it’s syndicated stuff I
don’t really have an answer for you so I’m probably just gonna keep babbling
get some get some help from an intellectual property lawyer consult
with them is what I would what I would suggest if it’s post 1924 I don’t like
giving copyright advice I know I’m gonna say that’s not a lawyer that’s way out
of my wheelhouse does anybody else have questions and also you know if questions
occur to anybody you can always contact Jen or myself you know later on
absolutely any time okay great well thank you so much Jen for you know for
your expertise I learned a lot and that was that was terrific
and thank you everybody for attending please do contact us if you have any
questions and we’ll be happy to help you out thanks Julian thanks tips me and
thank you all for coming it’s not have a good day everyone bye

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