Jan 16 (4 hours)
Day one was an introduction to the staff and much of the major equipment used at University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Rooms with specialty cameras for very large books and 3-D objects, rooms with Copibook and cradle machines for not-so-large print books. Workflows taped to the walls, book carts and project boxes scattered about. Not much chatter; everyone worked on their own with ear buds on. There was a large warehouse-type room in the back with thousands of books in boxes waiting to be digitized. These were prioritized and project schedules were posted.
After the introductions, my first task was to learn to scan books on the Copibook machine. I was given a set of instructions to refer to later; this was super handy as I like to write tips on the instructions as the teacher explains things (like write the copibook unit # and DPI used on your tracking paper in case you need to rescan any pages of your book). After a run through of the instructions and scanning the first few pages, myself and another new person were asked if one of us wanted finish the book. Me, I do, but I want to erase what was just done and start from scratch. The other new person goes to the next room to train on another item, the teacher goes to another Copibook and scans other books. I closed the software and restarted – this went well for a bit. Thankfully the teacher was very accommodating to all my questions and kept one ear bud out. I made lots of notes on the instruction pages I was given. Hopefully this instruction set it still at the Copibook on subsequent days. Made it through instructions and scanned the book (nearly 100 pages) so started scanning another book to fill the time until 5pm.
Jan 17 (4 hours)
When this internship was in possibility mode last semester, I was invited to UFDC’s internal staff training sessions on a new software acquired: Access Innovation’s Data Harmony. After the training, I was offered the Spring internship to assist with cleaning up the metadata from the move from UF’s old software to this. A UFDC employee recognized me from the training and asked if I knew Spanish – enough to catalog Spanish books but not enough to carry in-depth conversations. Unfortunately the metadata that is needing cleaned from the software move has a lot of abbreviations. I took a look at one Spanish set and was not able to decipher the items – total bummer! So I won’t be able to help with that. Hopefully there are plenty of English items to do.
Finished scanning the book from yesterday then set off for training on the next step: color correction. Make the letters more black and the background more white – contrast. I haven’t used Photoshop in many years and it has many upgrades so I was feeling like a big-ole technical klutz when going through the training. It turns out that the color target (color separator) that must be scanned as the first page of a scan file must be scanned in its entirety. Whoops. I didn’t scan the whole thing on the very first book I did yesterday. So we color corrected the second book that I finished this day. Thankfully I did those targets correctly but since I did half of my scan yesterday, then another scan today, I would have to color correct them both separately. That’s ok, more practice for me. Note to self: pick shorter books if it is close to the end of the day. Finished this color correcting. Adobe Bridge is awesome for doing the same actions across a batch of picture files; this took no time after setting up the initial action. Back to rescan the original book color target. Only now the platform on the Copibook I used must have been moved as the colors were definitely off from my new color target scan to the old one. I tried several platform heights but it was no use – I would have to rescan the whole book.
Jan 18 (4 hours)
My intern supervisor would not be in today so left a huge book for me to scan to fill up time if I finished my original book. I rescanned my original book. It took about 45 minutes for about 100 pages so I should have known to not start the humongous book that was left for me yet. I should have went ahead and color corrected. But I didn’t; I figured I could knock out 700 pages in 3 hours. Nope. Almost to page 500 by 5pm.