Astrid Johannah Smith
Rare Book and Special Collections Digitization Specialist
My name is Astrid Smith and I am the Rare Book and Special Collections Digitization Specialist with Stanford University Libraries’ Digital Production Group (DPG), as well as serving as one of our production coordinators. I create high quality images of such things as the rare “gems of the collection” books, and various materials from our library’s archives. In this role, I manage a steady flow of digitization requests from faculty, staff, and other branch libraries, as part of our mission to support teaching and scholarly research. In addition to one-off requests and project oversight, I also image a certain percentage of materials from other projects, typically the fragile outliers that require specialized handling and custom setup. I help to produce the images needed for exhibits, such as the “Monuments of Printing Exhibits,” including examples from Gutenberg through the book arts revival, and "Scripting the Sacred," featuring secular and sacred medieval texts. Coming from a fine art background with an emphasis in bookarts, painting and drawing, and printmaking, I am thrilled to work with such a beautiful and culturally significant selection of materials on a daily basis.
Part of our departmental agenda is to make Special Collections and other Stanford University branch library materials accessible online for use by the greater community, with digitization projects of all sizes. We strive to balance curator needs and wants with our departmental capacity and resources, and continually work to refine our process. It is important to us that the physical aesthetics of the object are honored as much as possible, while keeping in mind various project purposes -- for example, images that are needed for optical character recognition of the text versus those intended for exhibition enlargements, meant to showcase special items. We work closely with curators, conservators, library staff and stakeholders in an effort to successfully meet all these needs.
Please visit the Digitzation Services page for further information.
- MA in Liberal Arts, Stanford University
- BA in Art, San Francisco State University. Emphasis in Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, and Bookarts
- AA in Humanities, Foothill College. Certificate in Literature
- Smith, Astrid J. and Whearty, Bridget. "All the Work You Do Not See: Labor, Digitizers, and the Foundations of Digital Humanities" in Gold, Matthew K. and Klein, Lauren F. Debates in the Digital Humanities., 2023. Print. (Forthcoming)
- Smith, Astrid J. "What it is to be a Digitization Specialist: Chasing Medieval Materials in a Sea of Pixels." in Albritton, Benjamin, Georgia Henley, and Elaine Treharne. Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age., 2021. Print.
- Smith, Astrid J. and Temple, Murphy. "Spiritual Afterlives." in Dion, Mark, Susan Dackerman, and Paula Findlen. A Gallery Guide to the Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford., 2019. Print.
- Smith, Astrid J. "Renaissance Revival Clock" and "Spirit Photograph." in Dion, Mark, Susan Dackerman, and Paula Findlen. A Gallery Guide to the Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford., 2019. Print.
More about me
Follow me at @astridjsmith on Twitter.