Digitisation Studio Setup

I was asked recently about guidelines for setting up a digitisation suite. I’m a bit rusty on the very latest guidelines for this, so turned to the twitters, where a discussion surround #digstudio quickly happened, mostly co-ordinated by Simon Tanner who is an expert in digitisation and frequently advises institutions on their digitisation processes. Now, we all know the fragility of twitter feeds, so I thought I would post the main points here (indeed, it was Simon who suggested I post it here). The bullet points below were all made by Simon – thank you!

  • The JISC Digital Media – Still Images: Setting up a Workspace for Digitising Images document is a good overview on how to set up a digitisation suite http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/stillimages/advice/setting-up-a-workspace-for-digitising-images
  • Use standards: comply with the ISO 3664:2000 “Viewing conditions – Graphic technology & photography”
  • Replace fluorescents in the room. CIE Standard Illuminant D65 tubes correspond roughly to mid-day light in Europe
  • LED Lighting is the way to go. They are small, portable, with extremely high control. The top place to get these is here http://www.cdiny.com/LEDproducts.html
  • However, you might have price issues! Simon suggest’s procuring a standard LED. There is a good guide here: http://www.diyphotography.net/studio-at-home-introduction-to-led-lighting
  • Complying with the ISO 3664:2000 “Viewing conditions – Graphic technology & photography” standard also allows for good colour management
  • The Colour of the workspace should always be NEUTRAL grey – no tones or colours & doesn’t screw with camera’s white point settings
  • AVOID post-it notes & other colourful things round the working areas – it distracts the eye, and messes with calibration
  • The same goes for clothes – avoid overly colourful clothes & shiny things for the operators.
  • Control light: think about if can exclude daylight/control light (with curtaining for instance) for a stable lighting environment
  • Remember: think lots of space & look after the operator!
  • Simon’s paper on the Dead Sea Scrolls includes content on the studio: http://bit.ly/vvLW5u (PDF)

@fletcherdurant pointed out that the Federal Agencies Digitazation Guidelines Initatives’ main set of guidelines gives some (if limited), set-up advice on page 5 http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/digitize-technical.html

@ernestopriego pointed out that the New Opportunities Fund has some guidelines http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/nof/support/help/papers/digitisation_process/ – these were written by … SimonTanner!

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