Blog topic: Digitization

John C. Lilly open reel audio tape

Open reel tapes, head blocks, and unconventional track arrangements at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab

Part of audio preservation work includes working with media that has peculiar characteristics. Sometimes the atypical qualities are a byproduct of how the recording was made by the recordist. An example of this type of problem that we occasionally see at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab is when an open reel tape is recorded over and there is remaining content hidden in certain spots of the tape. This presents specific problems in capture since tape heads are built for use with specific physical configurations of tracks and thus capturing the hidden spots outside of the normal range of track configuration is near impossible. With this in mind SMPL recently worked on obtaining equipment to address this challenging scenario.

Piano Roll Scanner Project (PRSP)

February 24, 2016
by Jerry L McBride

To facilitate research, study, and access to the historical piano rolls in its collection, the Stanford Player Piano Project is designing and constructing a piano roll scanner capable of scanning all of the various types of piano and organ rolls that have been collected to date. This new scanner is based on the work of Anthony Robinson, who is working with the Project to expand upon and improve his earlier design. Monica Caravias, a graduate student at the Stanford Product Realization Lab, is designing and building Stanford’s scanner in close collaboration with Anthony and under the direction of Prof. Craig Milroy. This is the first in a series of reports on the progress of constructing the scanner.

Govdocs are hard, mkay?

February 2, 2016
by Mr. James R. (Librarian) Jacobs

[This was originally posted on the blog "Free Government Information"] I thought I'd recount an interesting little research question I had yesterday that took me down a rabbit hole trying to answer. This student was looking for an edition of a 1913 publication called the "Immigration Laws and Rules" (WorldCat helpfully notes the uniform titles of "Laws, etc." and "Immigration Laws"!) but couldn’t find the right one in google books (go figure!).

El Pajarillo Errante

Color Our Collections: José Guadalupe Posada

January 28, 2016
by Michelle Paquette

Next week, from Feburary 1-February 5, archives are joining the adult coloring craze with #ColorOurCollections, providing coloring pages made from materials held within their special collections. We're joining in while simultaneously celebrating some newly released digitized material from the José Guadalupe Posada collection, circa 1875-1913. 

"Carry On" by James M. Robb

WWII POW manuscript written in captivity now available online

January 11, 2016
by Daniel Hartwig

The University Archives is pleased to announce that it has digitized a remarkable manuscript, "Carry On," written by James M. Robb ('31), a WWII POW who survived the Bataan Death March. The manuscript, written while Robb was a patient at the Bilibid prison-hospital in the Philippines, was buried in a canister under floorboards in a building in the prison by Warrant Officer Earl G. Schweizer, who is referred to often in the manuscript and who was apparently a good friend of James's in the camp.

A portion of the article accompany the William Smith Map in Turun Sanomat newspaper

The William Smith Map in a Finnish Newspaper

December 2, 2015
by G. Salim Mohammed

In today's mail, the newspaper arrived. It wasn't the San Francisco Chronicle on the San Jose Mercury News though. It was a copy of the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, published in Turku, Finland. It wasn't until I turned to page 15 that I recognized something - a reproduction of the 1815 William Smith Map that we had scanned. William Smith published a map of Geology of what is now a good part of the UK, and earlier this year, we, along with the British Geological Society, celebrated 200 years since its publication. The map and article, all in Finnish of course, presumeably talks about the story of the man and how William Smith single-handedly authored and published this map. The newspaper used our scan both in the paper version and also in their online version. 

Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map, 1837

Adventures in oversized imaging: digitizing the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837

November 17, 2015
by Deardra Fuzzell

By Deardra Fuzzell and Wayne Vanderkuil
A historic manuscript map and a gem of the Stanford Library Map Collection, the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837 is hand drawn and painted in the round. This map is designed to be displayed on the floor with the viewer standing in its center. From this central vantage point, the map may be read with ease from any direction. As this display and viewing method is no longer possible for a map fast approaching its 200th birthday, Stanford has recently digitized this item to enable access for research, teaching and learning as well as preservation of the original object.

This the largest and most difficult oversized map Stanford has digitized thus far.
See how the Map Program went about imaging this unique item.

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