Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 533.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
From: Tamara Swora-Gober <firstname.lastname@example.org> (96)
Subject: LC National Digital Library Program announces release
From: "David L. Green" <email@example.com> (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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Green 202-296-5346 phone
email@example.com 202-872-0886 fax
Humanist Discussion Group
Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>
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