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Digitization of the Censored Newspaper Articles: quality control

This is the last report in a series on the Censored Newspaper Articles digitization project.  The first (Metadata Creation), second (Pre-scanning Treatment) and third (Scanning) installments are also available. 

Scanning of the materials is not the end of the digitization process.  Quality control is the last step before the preservation images are archived, and the access copies are ready to be uploaded to the Libraries’ digital repository, Fedora.

The Censored Newspaper Articles were scanned between March and December 2014. Every two weeks, like clockwork, our Vendor, Nichimy Corporation, sent us between 1,000 and 4,000 images on a 500 GB external hard drive from their office in Tokyo.  The hard drive included a preservation copy (400 dpi TIFF) and an access copy (400 dpi JPEG) for each image.


Censored Newspaper Articles folders are pulled from cabinets for QC.

When we received the disk, a Prange staff member copied the TIFF images to the Libraries’ server, ran a directory listing for the disk, entered the information on to a spreadsheet that tracked the progress of the images through Quality Control (QC), and generated a data check sheet and a list of folders to pull.  Each shipment involved between 200 and 1,100 folders.

The images were inspected using ThumbsPlus. We looked for the following in the QC inspection:

  • all pages had been captured
  • there were no corrupted images
  • all file names followed the specified convention
  • the scan was the actual size of the document
  • the resolution, sampling rate, and color space were correct

For 10% of the folders, we also used Photoshop to check:

  • the histogram for color-clipping
  • the properties for the University’s copyright statement
  • the color tone of the neutral border area around the first and last image to make sure that it had not drifted significantly

If there were any problems with the images, they were noted in a Quality Control Report that was submitted to the Vendor.  The Vendor then made the necessary changes and sent the new images to us via an FTP server.

A Prange staff member did a quality control check of the new images.  When the images were approved, the staff member swapped out the bad images for the good images on the original external hard drive and sent the hard drive to the Libraries’ IT Department for archiving.

Then the next disk came, and the process started all over again…

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