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[AV Media Matters] Poster project (prev: "Archiving 1000s ...posters"]

     We're beginning to survey, flatten, organize and house a large poster
     collection (McCormick-International Harvester Archive's posters from
     turn of century onward) and, as something of an add-on to the project,
     would like to take digital "snapshots" or "thumbnails" of each, for
     facilitating current and future access to the posters.

     We would like to do this "imaging" quickly as we work on the
     collections and then link the images to a database of additional
     information we gather about each.  I have a Sony Mavica MVC-FD7 10x
     digital camera that would take good "snapshots" of the posters.

     Of the many questions I could (or perhaps, "should") ask, here are a
     few basics:

     1) Has anyone tried anything similar--successful or not?
     2) Any thoughts, advice, information, about the approach, in general?
     3) If the general approach is okay--what's the best way to store and
     provide access to thumbnails for quick access?

     I'm feeling somewhat sheepish asking this--trying to take this quick
     approach to capturing poster images and knowing full well of extensive
     planning and preservation requirements for imaging.

     Well--better to have asked...

     Our planning and your advice have taken us to this point:

     1) We still plan to take digital "snaps" HOWEVER:

          a)  I'm thinking we should purchase a new camera for this (and
     similar projects here)--I believe Jim Lindner suggested the Sony
     Mavica (which is my personal camera) might not be the best.

     QUESTION:  Could anyone recommend a few other candidates for digital
     cameras to check out?

     2)  Despite our plans for keeping the project quick and simple, I'm
     *considering* shooting color slide film at the same time.  Even though
     the original posters are in very good condition and should stay that
     way--I certainly know shooting film (whether or not we create
     "snapshot thumbnails" from the digital camera for access) is the right
     thing to do.

     QUESTIONS:  Any recommendations about how to best accomplish this?
     Film type recommendations?  Where we might find best prices for film?
     Best guidelines for photographic documentation of 2-dimensional
     objects?  Best way to store the film--I was thinking to pack and cold
     store--after we shoot it--especially if  it's a preservation record?
     Any additional pearls of wisdom on this topic?

     3)  As the Preservation Officer here, I would like to develop some
     kind of written documentation that we could use internally to guide
     planning and then record whatever plans and steps we finally take to
     preserve any digital or electronic format(s) we create.  I am hoping
     this internal documentation could evolve into something fairly
     standardized.  At the very least it could make thinking about
     preserving what we create a more mindful part of the front-end
     planning process--and also make us aware of other decisions/purchases
     we make that could affect our ability to preserve.  I'm suspecting the
     best way to accomplish this might, in part anyway, be accomplished via
     the cataloging record.

     QUESTIONS:  Any suggestions?  Is this an unnecessary complication?
     Anyone found something that works best for them--either some
     independent documentation form or via cataloging or some combination
     of both?

     Thanks again for all the good information and advice--sure beats going
     into something like this cold.

     Sharlane Grant
     Preservation Officer
     State Historical Society of Wisconsin

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