Happy Friday! This week we have started scanning images of the 1988 Holiday House Tour, which took place predominantly in Frederick County. This set of photos poses a bit more of a problem during digitizing than some of our past collections, as the images were placed in a photo book that does not have removable pages for ease of use on a flatbed scanner. On top of that, the pages themselves are of the adhesive variety, and the photos seem to be well and truly stuck in place. While that’s normally not much of a problem with photo editing software, a number of photos in this book were placed overlapping each other.
In order to not lose the overall look of both photos, on a number of the Monte Vista pages we have scanned the entire page without trying to crop them down to individual images. Also, the risk to try to unstick photos from the page (and the plastic cover sheet) to reveal what is beneath is unacceptable due to the likelihood the images would be damaged. The entire album (which is, as you would expect, rather bulky) is held in place with the binding supported during the scan and kept as still as possible, but a few pages do show some anomalies from this technique. The anomalies are an acceptable trade-off to making these images available and for making a digital copy before the adhesive material deteriorates and damages the images. You can view the images of Monte Vista and St. Thomas Chapel at the top of the Flickr photostream, or at the end of the Frederick County album.
If you are wondering what to do with an album or scrapbook in a similar state, you may want to read Preservation Basics: Preservation of Scrapbooks and Albums and Preservation Guidelines for Digitizing Library Materials. Each album is unique and will have its own challenges, but these Library of Congress guidelines can give you a good idea of where you might have the most problems and some best techniques to avoid damaging one-of-a-kind artifacts.