University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections

About This Site

Digital Projects
Technical Specifications
Database Records
Descriptive Standards
How You Can Help
Contact Us

Digital Projects

This site and database were developed as one of four Digital Pilot Projects under the auspices of the University at Albany Libraries Digital Projects Implementation Group. The first project went into production in 2001 with the objective of reformating 200 photographic images from the University Archives Photograph collection. The database and user interface were operational in 2003. To date, over 14,000 photographs from the University Archives Photograph Collections and from selected manuscript collections, such as the records from the Civil Service Employees Association, Inc. (CSEA), AFSCME, Local 1000 and the United University Professions (UUP), have been captured digitally for the virtual collection. More digital images are being added as they are digitized and processed. Projects are selected which emphasize the institution's strengths, satisfy a particular need of the University Libraries' users, or provide technical or knowledge management challenges.

Technical Specifications

The 200 photographic images which were part of the initial Digital Pilot Project were scanned at 600 dpi in 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit RGB mode on an Epson Expression 1640 XL scanner and running EPSON TWAIN Pro version 2.10a. The controlling PC was a Dell Pentium 4. After a batch of images was scanned, they were edited using Adobe PhotoShop 7.0. During the editing process the images were cropped (if necessary) and saved as the archival copy TIFF files. This high resolution scan is not accessible to the public. Digital images created in the Department on an on-demand basis for research and publication needs are also scanned and edited using this equipment.

All photographs scanned by the Department's designated vendor were scanned using an Epson Expression 1640 XL flatbed scanner at 600 dpi in 8-bit grayscale or in 24-bit RGB mode.

All images are resized to 100 dpi JPEG files for the web accessible images and 75 dpi JPEG files for the thumbnail. The 100 dpi image includes a visible watermark. All finished files are uploaded to a Library server. When a search is performed, all corresponding 75 dpi thumbnails are displayed. The 100 dpi image is displayed along with the descriptive record when a thumbnail is selected by the user.

Text files were scanned at 300 dpi on a Ricoh Aficio 1027 as PDF files. The PDF files were modified using Adobe Acrobat Professional 6.0. The modification included making the files searchable in Adobe Reader and in some cases splicing files to reduce file size for more efficient downloading.

Database Records

The records available in the database include:

  • a description of the photograph or text including all known information about the photograph and what it may depict
  • the photographer's name (if known)
  • the date when the photograph was taken or text published (if known)
  • a physical description of the original object
  • subject terms that describe the image or text
  • folder title [Note: the folder location can be used to find similar images]
  • the photograph number which must be used when requesting permission to use or reproduce an image or text

Descriptive Standards

The Dublin Core Metadata element set was used to create basic cataloging. Many collections use controlled vocabulary from Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, and other relevant guides. Cataloging follows standard Departmental and University Libaries policy.

How You Can Help

To learn more about finanacially supporting digital collections or donating materials to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, contact Brian Keough, Head of the Department, at bkeough@uamail.albany.edu or 518-437-3931.

Contact Us

For further information about this web site or the University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections, please consult a staff member for further assistance.