A Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment: Selections from the Tilton C. Reynolds Papers


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Building the Digital Collection

This selection of the Tilton C. Reynolds Papers was scanned as 300-dpi grayscale images, which were compressed using JPEG compression, producing images in the JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF). The grayscale format is capable of capturing and displaying the diversity of tones found in manuscripts and the varying nuances produced by handwriting, pencil, and ink. It can also often suppress the bleedthrough typical of handwritten documents. Grayscale GIF images were created as well for convenient access using the page-turner feature.

The materials were scanned onsite by a paper scanning contractor, Systems Integration Group of Lanham, Maryland. The PULNiX MFCS-50 H/S Digital Overhead Scanning System, a fixed-array device capable of scanning 8-bit grayscale and bitonal images, was used to digitize all of the items in the collection. Systems Integration Group staff worked with the Library's conservators to ensure proper handling of the manuscripts during scanning.

Because efforts were made to preserve the appearance of the original documents, digital images reflect their physical condition. Because of their age and past handling, many of the original materials are discolored or stained or show heavy fold markings. Those items made from unusually thin paper sometimes show bleedthrough--where the ink or printing on the back of a page can be seen on the front--which even the grayscale format could not suppress. Also, some digital images of correspondence appear to have light or faded text that may be difficult to read.

During scanning preparations, some of the more delicate materials were housed in acid-free paper sleeves, from which the items were removed for scanning. Clear mylar sleeves protected extremely fragile or brittle items and allowed scanning without removal of the items.

Transcriptions that accompany some of the images of A Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment were converted to SGML, based on the American Memory DTD, employing a Perl script. The text was linked to the bibliographic database record for the document images.