sag-harbor-obgc-digitization

Standards
Documentation techniques will depend on digital camera work, using a camera that allows the photographer to adjust the aperture. Techniques will follow Historic American Buildings Survey guidelines, and images will be developed in black and white, to improve contrast and preservation. These guidelines are visible at http://www.nps.gov/history/hdp/standards/habsguidelines.htm and they require a photographic "record the environmental setting, elevations, and significant details." For gravestones, this would mean images of each side, at least one of which places the stone in the context of the larger graveyard. There would also be a need to document any important details. The western elevation of the stones, which (with less than a dozen exceptions) contains the inscriptions, will require the most detailed work. Inscriptions, epitaphs and artwork will be subject to detail shots.

Equiptment
Stones will be photographed using a Canon Digital Camera capable of adjusting the aperture and other settings manually. Photographs will be opened in the Canon Zoom Browser EX software that comes free with the camera, which automatically records exposure settings. A tripod of adjustable height will be used to ensure steady images. Cropping and rotation will be permitted, but photographs may not be enhanced beyond these means to ensure some level of authenticity.

Image Quality
Photographs will be visibleat a 600 dpi level, as per NEH standards, but preservation copy TIFFs of the original images will be maintained on two external hard drives.

Context and Additions
Much of the added value of the photographs depends on their correct identification and matching to the information inscribed on the stones, including burial data and epitaphs. Because the stones will now match the data, the fading inscriptions will remain legible as the stones deteriorate.
Significantly more value will come from the context in which the information is available—via both a searchable database and a linked map where images of the stones can pop up along with summary information linking to the database. This context allows users to find the stones in the graveyard, and to match the context to other nearby stones. The map will be searchable by both name and grid, allowing users to click on linked information outside the frame to find the stone they seek within the context of the burying ground.
Additionally, the map offer the option to highlight specific groups of people by selecting the text for that group, such as those engaged in the whaling and shipping trades, immigrants and minorities, children, and Revolutionary War veterans. These groups will correspond to exhibits developed in Omeka featuring the highlighted stones. Given patterns in use of the burying ground, this is particularly enlightening, because it highlights a pattern of subtle segregation within the Burying Ground, and it also draws attention to the movement in use where more recent burials occurred further South within the burying ground.

Exhibits
Exhibits will allow for detailed images of stones and deeper explanation and context for the history connected to specific stones.

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