Roman Vishniac Digitization

The digitization plan for the Vishniac Archive primarily consists of scanning all of Vishniac’s photographs.

Vishniac’s photographs will be scanned at 600 dpi to ensure that high quality images will be provided. Obtaining high resolution digital images in ICP’s records will be beneficial for future use and it will give ICP the option to change the images to a lower resolution. The files will be saved in ICP’s archive as TIFFs and will be converted into JPEGs for the website. The JPEG version will allow ICP to control the use of Vishniac’s photographs and protect Mara Vishniac’s copyright claims. Should a scholar wish to use one of Vishniac’s photographs in a publication, he/she can contact ICP to request permission. The JPEG versions of the photographs will allow users to print copies of Vishniac’s photographs and will also make it easier for viewers to access the photographs online at a higher speed.

By scanning the photographs at 600 dpi, ICP will not only meet archival standards, but it can keep high-resolution versions of the images without taking up an exorbitant amount of space on the server. The portraits of Vishniac taken by friends and colleagues can most likely be scanned at 300 dpi. To ensure that this plan for scanning meets standards, the in-house scanner for the project will use 3 photographs from different parts of the collection: one photograph will be from the collection of photographs taken in Eastern Europe, another one will be one of Vishniac’s microscopic images, and another will be from the group of portraits of Vishniac.

Most of the photographs are 8”x 10” or 11” x 14.” There are some that are smaller and a small group of larger ones. A large flatbed scanner will be needed to scan images of all dimensions. I plan to use ICP’s resources for this part of the process. The scanning will be completed by several of ICP’s in-house scanners who will use ICP's equipment. I will still need to allocate money from the budget to support this part of the process.

The Roman Vishniac collection consists of about 12,000 prints. All photographs will be scanned for preservation purposes. However, as stated earlier in the assignments, there will be a selection policy so that not all of the images will need to be uploaded on the web. The scanner will not need to make adjustments to the photographs unless the scanned versions noticeably distort the original images. This decision was made to preserve the integrity of the photographer so that we do not tamper with Vishniac’s finished product/work of art.

The scanner will name the digital images according to the artist and accession number. For example: Vishniac_92.144.tiff.

The photographs will be displayed on the website as a series of thumbnails. This will allow the viewer to be able to look through multiple images and then select photographs to view in larger sizes. Users will therefore have the option to view the photographs in varying sizes and will also have the capability to zoom in to examine details in the print. As stated in the other assignments, each photograph will include metadata documenting important information about each print. The website will use a search engine that will be able to refer to the metadata (that will have been entered by the data entry technician). This search engine, for example, will have the capacity to refer to the titles or captions that will accompany each print.

The thumbnails of each image will look somewhat like this but will need to be smaller. Below these three images are larger versions of the same Vishniac photos (2 of the images are from his collection of photographs taken in Eastern Europe and one of the images is from the collection of his microscopic prints). At the bottom of the screen there are three versions of a photograph (that I took) that I scanned myself so that I could compare the images after changing the resolution and color/greyscale. The first image is in color at 600 dpi, the second image is in grey scale at 600 dpi, and the third image is in color at 72 dpi (when I viewed the image in 300 dpi it did not look too different from the 600 dpi version).

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