- Phase One P65+ Digital Back: 60.5 MP sensor, 346MB 16 bit processed TIFFs.
- Phase One 645DF: Medium format camera.
- Phase One 120 mm Digital MF f/4 Macro lens.
- Mamiya 645AFDII, medium format camera.
- Phase One P45 Digital Back: 39 MP sensor, 225MB 16 bit processed TIFFs.
- Mamiya 120 mm Digital MF f/4 Macro lens.
- Mamiya AF 55MM F2.8 lens.
- Photon Beard Highlight Fluorescent Studio Lighting: Cold source lighting with low energy consumption, daylight balanced for colour consistency.
- P65+ with Phase One 645DF, medium format camera: Specifications as above.
- Kaiser Copy Stand: for flat copying on location.
- Kaiser Lighting Unit: Fluorescent cold source lighting.
- SURVEY/CONSERVATION ASSESSMENT: A conservation assessment is carried out by qualified staff prior to selection.
- SELECTION: Objects are selected based on their physical condition and IDP work schedule. If the item is considered physically fit to withstand digitisation it is transferred to the IDP digitisation studio.
- CONSERVATION: In the case of objects requiring conservation prior to digitisation, a bid is submitted to the conservation department to schedule the work.
- EXTERNAL COMMISSION: In the case of external commission a condition survey can be carried out by IDP staff if required prior to start work. IDP can advise on conservation requirements and provide estimates of work to be carried out.
- RECORD CREATION: An item record is created on the 4D database before any work is started including conservation. The item record contains information about the physical make up of the item as well as information about provenance, storage location, catalogue information etc.
- IMAGE CAPTURE: The object is photographed in the IDP studio or on location depending on the project requirements.
- IMAGE MANIPULATION: Post production of raw images is carried out in the IDP studio using Photoshop CS3.
- QUALITY CHECKING: 5-10% of the images are randomly checked by IDP staff. Any problems are discussed and, if necessary, the item is reshot.
- RE-HOUSING: After completion of the digitisation, the item can be returned to storage. If any additional conservation/preservation work is needed this is carried out at this stage, especially for items needing re-housing.
- ARCHIVE: A copy of all images created is archived by IDP in RAW and TIFF formats and stored in two copies in different places.
Any additional information regarding the item can be included on the 4D database; this includes conservation records, catalogue entries, research etc.
Database and Website Overview
Catalogues and bibliographical data is coded in XML using a slightly modified form of the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) specifications. Templates are available on technical resources. The data is then imported and stored as a BLOB (Binary Large Object) in the database.
Remote Site Management and Synchronisation
IDP is an international collaboration with a directorate and technical support team based in the British Library, London, UK and with digitisation, cataloguing and research centres at libraries and museums worldwide. All these institutions host their own IDP database and website in their local language.
In addition, there are several other organisations that do not host their own server but whose data is hosted by one of the IDP hosts. For example, data from the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Chester Beatty Library etc. is hosted on the British Library IDP server. IDP China holds data on other Chinese collections etc. In this way, the IDP Centres act as local hubs.
Each IDP Centre has read — write access to its own, and its hosted — data, and read-only access to data from other Centres. Changes/additions to the data are immediately synchronised automatically to the other servers, and changes/additions made on the other servers are synchronised in. In this way, each Centre has a complete and up-to-date dataset.
The technical team at IDP UK in conjunction with local technical staff maintains the database web server and the database software through the cross-platform remote access software Timbuktu Pro.
Metadata and Digital Image Naming
IDP data are variously stored in three formats: 1) in a structured content management system; 2) in XML using a standard DTD (TEI); 3) with images ('implicit' metadata). In all cases a standard set of basic metadata is captured by IDP conforming to international standards and mappable to such standards. For example, the basic set of fifteen core elements defined by Dublin Core are captured by IDP (Title, Creator, Subject, Description, Publisher, Contributor, Date, Type, Format, Identifier, Source, Language, Relation, Coverage, and Rights.).
It should, however, be noted that IDP data covers a wide range of subject areas, each of which has its own defined metadata standards. IDP captures the basic metadata demanded by all of these. So, for example, IDP captures the main recognised specialised descriptive elements relevant to manuscripts, to artworks (such as Dimensions, Condition, Inscriptions, Conservation Treatment, and Exhibition/Loan History), and for geospatial data.
The RAW and processed large TIFF files, created by the digital camera software, contains embedded technical metadata data. This comprises three types of metadata: file properties (filesize, dimensions etc); camera data (EXIF (Exchangable Image File Format) data); and copyright (IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) data). In addition, the digital image name (DIN) is used to embed core information linking the digital object surrogate to the original and to the location of the digital surrogate.
The DIN is made from the following elements:
- Pressmark (or whatever comprises a unique identifyingstring conventionally used by the institution or individual for the item)
- Number of image (for multiple photos of the same object)
- Suffix: type of image code (R/L/M/T)
The prefix (e.g. BLX1) is identical to the DVD name and folder on the RAID in which the digital image is stored. It is composed of three parts:
- Institution Code: (e.g.BL = British Library)
- Project code: e.g. X = Mellon project
- DVD/folder number: number of DVD/folder containing the archival image
The prefix is always followed by an underscore.
The suffix denotes the type of image, as follows:
- R = Raw image (TIFF)
- L = Large size manipulated image (TIFF and JPEG)
- M = Medium size manipulated image (JPEG)
- T = Thumbnail size manipulated image (JPEG)
It is always preceded by an underscore.
EXAMPLE: The Raw image of the first shot of the recto of the British Library scroll with pressmark Or.8210/S.395 would therefore be named: BLX1_OR8210S395R1_1_R.tif
Here the DVD/folder number (BLX1) is followed by the library manuscript number (Or.8210/S.395) and the section (R1, indicating the first text on the recto of the scroll). These are always entered without any separators such as hyphens or slashes, or other non-essental characters, such as full-stops. Following this is the number of the shot (first shot of this text), and then the suffix denoting the type of image.
- For details of a particular ms. or text use 'D1' in place of '1'
- For recto/verso of a whole ms. use 'R1' or 'V1' etc.
- For colophon or inscription of a particular text/painting use 'C1', 'C2' etc.
- For patch(es) taken from the back of a manuscript use P1R, P1V etc.
- For stitched image use 'ST'.
For more resources on metadata see the Technical Links page.