Guest post by Heather Wagner, Digitization Coordinator at UC Merced Library
For the Pioneering Child Studies project the UC Merced Library’s Digital Curation and Scholarship unit was tasked with digitizing 68,000 pages of documents. So, how do we go about digitizing 68,000 pages of documents? With some help. That help comes from four undergraduate student assistants who play an important part in the digitization process.
The first part of the process is the actual digitization. Our undergraduate student assistants digitize materials on a variety of equipment. These include high speed document scanners and flatbed scanners for documents, book scanners for bound material, and cameras on stands for oversize or fragile materials.
Once the digitization is complete, the next step is quality checking. Students review each image in Adobe Bridge and zoom in to check for issues such as lines in scans or items out of focus. Some images may need minor editing such as straightening and cropping which is completed during the quality checking step in Photoshop. The quality checking step is time consuming but necessary, so we are sure we are receiving the best possible results from digitization.
PDFs with optical character recognition (OCR) are created from the digitized image files so they are accessible to users. OCR makes the PDF document searchable. The PDF documents are then quality checked by the students, and the documents are then optimized. Optimizing the PDF files reduces their file size, which makes them better suited for web viewing. The files are then ready for uploading.
We appreciate the hard work of our undergraduate student assistants. We would not be able to complete digitization projects of this size without them.
We are at the one-year point of the project Pioneering Child Studies: Digitizing and Providing Access to Collection of Women Physicians who Spearheaded Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics. UCSF Archives & Special Collections and UC Merced have made significant headway towards our goal of digitizing and publishing 68,000 pages from the collections of Drs. Hulda Evelyn Thelander, Helen Fahl Gofman, Selma Fraiberg, Leona Mayer Bayer, and Ms. Carol Hardgrove.
To date we have digitized over 33,000 pages. The digitized material are still undergoing quality assurance (QA) procedures. Here are some items we have digitized so far.
Dr. Leona Mayer Bayer
This collection features professional correspondence of Dr. Leona Mayer Bayer. Her work focused on child development and human growth and psychology of sick children.
Dr. Selma Horwitz Fraiberg
This collection includes several drafts of her research papers on important aspects of developmental-behavioral pediatrics.
In the next year we will continue digitizing and will soon publish our collections on Calisphere. Stay tuned for our next update.