University of Virginia Library University of Virginia
Early American Fiction Collection

EAF Digital Imaging Procedures

These procedures are taken from training guidelines used by EAF digitization staff.

Before Imaging Begins:

  • Make sure the camera is at 25 inches on the Camera Stand
  • Turn on the halogen lamps (make sure the other camera is not in mid-scan)
  • Turn off the overhead lights
  • Window blinds must be closed
  • Check Correction Sheet (Refer to Scanning Corrections)
  • Be sure to make any corrections before beginning a new text.


  • Open the data server: SHARE1 on CHAOS
  • Name: mellon
  • Password: eaf
  • Open the camera back.
  • (The "open" position: the blue dot is all the way to the left; "closed" the blue dot is all the way to the right)
  • Camera should always be closed when not in use.

  • Open Phase One

Phase One Preferences:



  • Make sure the extension is tif:


  • Either highlight or add the folder you are saving your files in, if it is not currently an option. [Panic: new tifs; Disorder: new tifs]


  • Select Create thumbnails check box and Adobe Photoshop Creator code.

  • Open the Disorder or Panic binder located at each computer and continue the book in progress.


  • Choose the Super Preview option by clicking on the tab at the lower left quadrant of the window.

  • Click on the blinking Preview button located in the bottom right quadrant of the window.

Phase One Settings

  • Scan method: Custom Resolution
  • Resolution: 400 pix/inch

Image Numbering

In the Next image box, title the image so that:

  • The first portion of the file name is the three digit book id.
  • The next portion of the name is a dash.
  • The last three spaces in the file name are for the image number.
  • Be sure to use all three places, even if the image number is under 100.
  • The tif extension will be added automatically by the software (this option should have been enabled in Phase One preferences)
  • Example: for book 004, the 15th image would be named: 004-015.

Book Alignment

  • The top edge of the book faces the left side of the camera stand.
  • Click on the guidelines button to align your book properly.
  • Two guidelines will appear on the preview screen.
  • Align the vertical line with the text block on the inside of the page, near the binding:

  • If the text block is not completely straight along the line, then you will need to physically move the book cradle until the text block is straight.
  • Reposition and repreview until the alignment is correct.


  • Click the binocular icon to turn on the Focus option.
  • A gray square with a red line bisecting it will appear on your preview screen (you may have to scroll in the preview window to find it).
  • Move the box to the center of the focus tool

    (the UPC bar code strip placed on text, with the numbers on the barcode facing the same direction as the text).

  • In the focusing tool window, click the little speaker box in the focus tool chart. This will enable you to hear a tone (and will help you to focus properly)

  • Click Scan
  • Turn the focusing knob on the camera until you have the highest possible number in the focusing window and you hear the highest pitch.
  • Click Stop to stop focusing.
  • Remove the UPC bar code

Gray Balance

  • Repreview the image, placing a grayscale strip on the page.
  • Choose Gray Balance from the camera menu.
  • Move your color dropper around on the grayscale card until the 3 percentages are all equal:

  • Typically the dropper will be in the 2nd or 3rd quadrant of the grayscale.
  • Click the mouse to set this balance and then click Apply.


  • Use the ruler to set the height of the cropped area.
  • Crop the ruler (the ruler is 8 inches) and enter "8.0" in the height field.
  • (This allows you to adjust the cropped area proportionally to height that you have set and will accurately reflect the bookıs physical size).
  • Remove the grayscale card.
  • Crop the page image
  • Leave enough space around the edges and make sure that other objects are not visible within the cropped area.
  • (Refer to the unusable image chart at the end of the workflow.)

Tonal Range

  • Turn on the gamut warning button
  • This is used to show any over-exposed pixels in the image. Any overexposed areas will appear red in the preview.
  • An even sprinkling of red distributed over the page is desirable:


  • Click the curves icon

  • Click Auto
  • Your pages should be slightly overexposed but not greatly, only in the margins and with even distribution.
  • Position book so that there is even light distribution (watch for shadows by checking the curves- a sprinkling of red is desirable uniformly down the page)

  • Repreview until you are completely satisfied with the image.

Saving Images

  • Open Share1 On CHAOS
  • Double click on the folder that corresponds with the camera youıre operating.
  • Double click on the new tifs folder
  • Close the computer folder [Panic/Disorder}
  • Close the Share1 on CHAOS folder
  • Save the image by clicking the Capture button.
  • You should see the image icon appear in the new tifs folder you just opened.

Record Imaging

  • On the tally sheet under notes, record file size, book dimensions, and resolution
  • Denote the page number and the image number as well as previews and focusing.

Continuing Imaging

  • In Phase One change the "Next image" name.
  • Since we do a series of verso (left-hand side) images followed by a series of recto (right-hand side) images, increase the image number by 2 to leave space for the facing page.

    Example: The image for the inside cover is 430-001, the next image you shoot will also be on the left side and be number 430-003. When the book is flipped, the first image you shoot will be the page opposite the inside cover (a right-hand page) and will be image 430-002).

  • Continue to shoot a series of images on the same side of the book that you initially focused on.
  • Preview every other image to verify alignment, exposure, etc.
  • Check the images in Photoshop frequently (every 6th image) and record it on the tally sheet.
  • Try to have all images matched at the end of the day - not a series of odd numbered images without evens to go with them, or evens without odds.

Scanning Corrections

  • When you first come in, check the Correction sheet to see if there are any corrections to be shot. If there are, then you must give priority to those corrections before you continue with your regular scanning.
  • Initial the corrections youıve done.
  • Correct the images listed on the correction sheet noting the corrections as you progress.

Test Sheets

  • When a book is completed, we do a test sheet to show the physical size of the book and the color of the pages:

  • Place a color strip on a page of text and focus the image Name the file XXXeaf (where XXX is the book's id number)
  • Check the exposure, adjust the tonal range and crop the image - leaving extra space at the top to add information in Photoshop.
  • Capture the image on medium resolution at 300 dpi, saving the file as XXXeaf
  • Open the test sheet in Photoshop.

    Use the text tool to add:

    Early American Fiction


    Book Title

    Test Sheet Date

  • The font color can be black or white, whichever is clearest.
  • On the toolbar, under Layer, select Flatten Image.
  • Save the test sheet as a TIFF image.
  • Be sure to save the image in the new tifs folder so it will be batched.
  • Record the test sheet on the tally sheet in the binder as you would any other image

    NOTE: Recalibrate the Camera using Custom Resolution at 400 DPI after doing a test sheet to prepare for the next book.

Covers, spines, and edges

  • Spines and edges will be particularly difficult to shoot with the camera, requiring re-focusing for each one.
  • To keep the same color biases in the spine and edges they will be scanned on the same flatbed scanner.
  • Shoot spines and edges on the flatbed scanner at 400 dpi, 24-bit color, uncompressed TIFF format, following the following guidelines.
  • Naming convention, using volume xxx as an example.

    The images are to be scanned in this order:

xxxfcov Front cover
xxxbcov Back cover
xxxedgf Front edge
xxxspin Spine
xxxedgt Top edge
xxxedgb Bottom edge

For multi-volume works, add a 1, 2, 3, etc to the end of the file name (making use of the spare eighth character).

  • Remove scanner lid, and start up the scanning program.

  • Place front cover face down on the scanner. Put foam wedge flat on top to give a uniform background to the covers and the edges.
  • Crop (maintaining a small overscanned border around the edges of the cover), color balance, and save (see naming convention above).
  • Keeping the cropped box unchanged, flip the book and scan the back cover, remembering to re-balance the color.

  • Using a pair of foam wedges, stand the book gently on its front edge, crop, color-balance and save. Make sure you scan the front edge before the spine, as the cover may flare out slightly at its unbound edges and therefore be wider than the bound spine. It may help to line up the edge of the foam wedge with the side edge of the scanner.

  • Keeping the cropped box unchanged, flip the book and scan the spine, remembering to re-balance the color.

  • Using a pair of foam wedges, stand the book gently on its top edge, crop, color-balance and save.

  • Keeping the cropped box unchanged, flip the book and scan the bottom edge, remembering to re-balance the color.

Note: For books with no design or lettering on the cover, double-check to make sure you have the book the right way up (it is easy to get it upside down).


Updating the Database

  • Enter the 3-digit book ID number in the ID block .
  • Once your bookıs record is shown, enter the date, the number of hours YOU WORKED ON THE BOOK (not necessarily the same as the number of your shift hours),
  • number of images shot, range of pages and the last (i.e. highest) image number you shot. If you start or finish a book, be sure to enter "start date" or "complete date" where appropriate.
  • Double check that the correct call number is also recorded (Barrett, Taylor, or SC Stks Call Number)
  • When Spines and Covers have been scanned on the flatbed, record their completion in the NOTES field along with the date and your initials.
  • This information is used not only in generating progress reports on the EAF project, but may also be used in planning future projects.
  • Please be very meticulous about entering information. It is very important to put in the call number for the book that you are working on and the date a book is completed.

Running the Batch Process

  • Because the .tif files are too large to use on the web, we create smaller .jpgs in Photoshop.
  • Open Photoshop
  • Under File, go to Automate and select Batch.

    A dialog box will appear:

  • Set: choose Batch.
  • Action: choose tifs to jpgs
  • Source: Folder
  • Choose the folder [panic:new tifs/disorder:new tifs]
  • Check Override Action "Open" Commands
  • Destination: choose the folder [panic:jpgs/disorder:jpgs].
  • Check the Override Action "Save In" Commands
  • Click on OK to start the Batch Process.
  • Errors: Stop for errors

    Note: Only run the Batch process if you are the last person to leave.

Printing CD Labels

  • Labels are printed for all CDs with .tif images.
  • Open Mellon 2 FileMaker Database
  • Go to layout CD info by clicking on the CD info button on the toolbar.
  • Verify the page setup is set to landscape by selecting Page Setup under File.
  • Put label face down in the EAF printer tray
  • Select Print from the File Menu.
  • Select # of copies you want print only page 1 to 1

Burning CDs

  • CDs for a given work are numbered sequentially. Ensure that all the images are matched before burning a CD.
  • Open Adaptec Toast

  • Put the blank CD in the CD writer.
  • Create an empty folder on the desktop.
  • Give the folder a descriptive name and a sequence number.
  • Example: Bear02 for CD #2 of the book The Big Bear of Arkansas
  • In Toast, click Data.
  • Drag and drop the empty folder into the Data box.
  • CDs can hold about 700 MB, but we like to leave room in case an image has been missed or is somehow corrupt.
  • Drag about 660 MBs of data from Share1 on CHAOS into the folder in the datafield.
  • Select "Write CD"
  • Select "Write Session"
  • The CD will write and then will automatically go into verification (to make sure all the images saved, and that images/CD sectors are not corrupt.
  • Once the CD finishes verifying, remove the folder in the data box and start a new CD with the next images.
  • After the CD has been burned, drag the images from the server that were burned to CD to the trash.

Cataloging CDs

  • Open up the CD-header web form:

    CD cataloging web form

    CD cataloging Guidelines

  • Labeling the CD -- neither write nor stick labels on the CD itself. Use the unique ID number in the inner ring of the disk to identify it -- this number will go in the header and will be written on the jewel-case label.

    [Note: some makes of CD have a batch number that is not unique -- if we buy these, we may have to add a number to the clear plastic (non-recording) ring at the center of the disk.

  • Make sure all the information is filled in on the CD label. Use the tally sheets to match a page number with the first and last image on the CD - note the range of pages covered and volume (if necessary) on the CD label.
  • Enter the CD's serial number (located on the inside ring of the CD, and written on the CD label as the CD id) as the file code.
  • Omit any spaces or dashes in the serial number.
  • Select "edit SGML for this file"
  • Fill in the information on title, author, pub date, EAF id number, and date CD was created.
  • In 'Body' type in the CD name (ex: BRIDE03) and the range of pages covered on the CD.
  • Click the Save and Quit Editing button at the bottom of the form.
  • Mark CDs that have been cataloged with a colored dot-sticker on the right top corner of the jewel case.
  • When you have finished cataloguing a batch of CDs, put them in the box labeled for the book.

Checking JPGs

  • Checking the.jpgs manually is our main form of quality control.
  • The JPGs are what people will see when viewing the project, so if there is a problem, we need to correct it before it is passed on to the keyboarding company.
  • Open the jpgs
  • Magnify each JPG image to 100% using the magnifying tool.
  • Pay close attention to the page numbers.and check to make sure that none are missing, shot twice, or out of order.
  • Watch for streaks, colored lines, shadows, or if any letters or words are cut off. Ensure that the color is correct and that the image isnıt too dark (underexposed) or too light (overexposed).
  • It is vital that all letters/words are fully visible.
  • Note any problems found on the Disorder/Panic Correction sheet.
  • Delete any problem jpgs and the corresponding tif files so they can be reshot.

Unusable Images

UPC focus tool left on the page:
Light streak on the bottom half of the page:
Acrylic arms and rivets disrupting the image:

Early American Fiction Digitization Coordinator: Michelle Kraft

Back to EAF Digitizing Workflow