13.0533 new on WWW: LC National Digital Library release

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Sat Apr 08 2000 - 17:10:00 CUT

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                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 533.
          Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

            From: Tamara Swora-Gober <tswo@loc.gov> (96)
            Subject: LC National Digital Library Program announces release
            From: "David L. Green" <david@ninch.org> (9)

    This message is being widely posted

    The Library of Congress National Digital Library Program announces the
    release of "Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age: Nineteenth and
    Early Twentieth Century Perspectives" at


    The collection portrays the early history of the commonwealth of Puerto
    Rico through first-person accounts, political writings, and histories
    drawn from the General Collections, the Hispanic Division and the
    Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress.

    The digital collection Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age is one
    component of a collaborative project undertaken by the Library of
    Congress Hispanic Division and the National Digital Library Program to
    recognize the centennial of the Spanish-American War (1898). The first
    product of this collaboration, The World of 1898: The Spanish-American
    War, came online in 1998. Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age now
    joins it, while also expanding the continuing commitment of the Library
    of Congress to highlight the histories of distinctive American regions
    through the online presentation of materials selected from a number of divisions.

    Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age encompasses historically
    important writings by prominent Puerto Rican political activists and
    historians dating from approximately seventy years before the
    Spanish-American war (1831) until some thirty years after it (1929).
    Texts from the postwar period include the only English-language works in
    the collection. Among these are soldiers' reminiscences about the
    conflict and short histories designed to acquaint an American audience
    with Puerto Rico in the earliest years of its affiliation with the
    United States.

    The collection comprises 16 monographs scanned from printed copies and
    39 political pamphlets and 2 monographs and a journal scanned from
    microfilm. The pamphlets are part of the Puerto Rican Memorial
    Microfilm Collection, 1846-1907, a collection of 447 pamphlets
    microfilmed in 1994 that covers agriculture and botany, economics,
    education, government, politics, history, literature, legal materials,
    and public health. Out of sixteen reels in this collection, only reels
    13 (addresses, essays, laws, and political parties) and 14 (politics and
    government) are featured in Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age.
    All pamphlets are in Spanish. Four of the books are in English and the
    rest in Spanish.

    Scanning the Printed Material

    Paper-based printed documents in Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern
    Age: Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Perspectives were digitized
    by Systems Integration Group (SIG) of Lanham, Maryland. Each item was
    reproduced as facsimile page images. The image capture took place at
    the Library of Congress. In order to preserve the originals, bound
    works were scanned face-up in their bindings, one page at a time. The
    master or archival version of the textual pages (containing typography
    and line art) is a 300-dots-per-inch (dpi) bitonal image in the TIFF
    format, with ITU Group IV compression. Pages with printed halftone
    illustrations, finely detailed line drawings, or pages with significant
    color, including book covers, were captured as 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit
    color images, as appropriate, and stored in the JFIF image format (with
    JPEG compression). Books containing bitonal text pages and no
    illustrations were scanned using the Minolta PS3000. Books containing
    grayscale illustrations were scanned using the Toyo 4x5 inch studio
    camera with a Phase One Photophase Plus digital camera back.

    The browser-display images for all document pages are in the GIF format.
    The staff produces these images by processing batches of the master or
    archival images. When bitonal images are being processed, gray tones
    are added and the resulting image is blurred to mimic grayscale. Then
    the image is reduced in scale to fit the typical display monitor and
    sharpened to enhance legibility. When the source image is grayscale,
    only rescaling and sharpening are undertaken to create the GIF image.

    Microfilm Scanning

    Materials in Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age that were
    digitized from microfilm include the pamphlets and the periodical
    Repertorio Historico de Puerto-Rico as well as two monographs. For
    optimal capture of detail, the microfilm scanning negative was produced
    by Preservation Resources by printing directly from the master
    microfilm. The digital images were captured by Preservation Resources
    as 600-dpi bitonal images saved in TIFF format, with ITU Group IV compression.

    Preservation Resources also created GIF files for quick online access to
    the microfilm items in this collection. These images were derived from
    the bitonal TIFF files or the grayscale TIFF files during the
    post-processing phase of production.

    Creating the Searchable Text

    After the images were approved by the Library, searchable texts were
    prepared offsite, by rekeying the documents from the page images. These
    typescript materials were converted to machine-readable form at an
    accuracy rate of 99.95% and encoded with Standard Generalized Markup
    Language (SGML), according to the American Memory Document Type
    Definition (DTD). This DTD is a markup scheme that conforms to the
    guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), the work of a
    consortium of scholarly institutions. The online presentation of the
    texts also includes a version in HTML (HyperText Markup Language),
    produced by the Library in an automated process. Because it requires no
    special software, the HTML version is easier for most users to access.

    This collection can be found at


    Please direct any questions to ndlpcoll@loc.gov
    David Green 202-296-5346 phone
    david@ninch.org 202-872-0886 fax

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