Barnard Digitization Policy

Digitization Policy

The manuscripts selected from the Henry Barnard Papers for digitization will be scanned in Fales Library at sufficient quality to allow them to act as digital surrogates for the physical collection. The original documents in the collection will serve as the source for the digital version. Many of the documents will require only a simple scan-and-flip procedure; however folded letters and bound notebooks will require a slightly more involved approach. The notebooks, which include Barnard’s diaries and notes, are somewhat fragile and bound with thread. Once they have been assessed by a conservator they will be disbound for scanning. The folded letters are composed of single sheets of paper folded in half horizontally to create a four page document, though some have multiple sheets of paper. Both formats will be scanned lying flat, one sheet at a time with small cards beside each to indicate page numbers. All documents will be scanned at six hundred pixels per inch in 24-bit color. The color scanning is necessary to provide a product that is faithful to the original document and to account for the fact that many of the correspondence, particularly the letters from Horace Mann, were written in dark ink on deep blue paper that might not be readily legible if scanned in grayscale. The high resolution of the master file, retained in the uncompressed TIFF file format necessary for the most complete retention of the image’s data, will allow lower resolution images to be derived as needed for distribution via the internet and for publication quality images upon request. Beyond checking the file’s integrity no adjustments will be made to the master copy, once they have been created backup copies will be placed on New York University’s server and on an external hard-drive.

For delivery the page images will be modified to an extent. The digital images that users will be able to access from the transcript of the document will be compressed into the JPEG format. The compressed image will be smaller than the TIFF but will remain of sufficient resolution to read the usually handwritten documents. These distribution images will also be “cleaned,” such as by editing out ink that shows through from the opposite side of the page, to make them more legible. In such instances unaltered JPEG images will also be available should the user wish to see a version more faithful to the original. The digital images of the notebooks and folded letters will require a more complex process. They will be offered at the same size and format, and give the same cleaning measures, however they will also be cropped twice. The first time will be to divide the scanned sheets into individual pages, the second will remove the page number tags once the correct order of the images has been verified and the information incorporated into the image’s metadata. Again unaltered versions will be available so that users can see how the document looked as a whole. Below are sample images of the digitized documents.


This is an image of the first and third pages of a draft of an un-addressed letter Henry Barnard wrote in 1869 while serving as Commissioner of Education.


This is the second page of the same letter.


This is an image of the first page of Henry Barnard's diary from an 1833 sojourn in Washington, D.C. The entry shown in part here describes a particular forceful speech delivered by John C. Calhoun.


This is a cabinet photograph of Henry Barnard made in 1893.


The reverse side of the photographed inscribed with a brief message to Will S. Monroe, Barnard's research assistant in the 1890s and the donor of the collection at Fales.

The transcribing of the Henry Barnard Papers will be carried out through rekeying since the OCR technology available to this project cannot handle handwritten documents. However in the event a typescript document is included in the project OCR will be used upon it and checked by proofreaders. The transcripts will be presented as XML documents and their markup will be described in depth in a later section. The transcript will emphasize accessibility as users will have access to the digital images of the documents for more faithful depictions but retain some of the characteristics of the text. Words the transcribers have difficulty deciphering will be represented with a best guess enclosed with square brackets. The grammar of the text will not be modified and the author’s spelling will appear in the transcript, though in the cases of erroneous or outdated spelling an updated or corrected version of the word enclosed in will follow the author’s version. Text that was crossed out by the original author will be represented on the transcript in red and highlighted with a strikethrough. The presence of annotations and aberrations in format, such as unusual spacing, will be indicated with foot notes, and the division between pages in the original will be reflected in the transcript as an extra line of space.

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