Band Music from the Civil War Era

Building the Digital Collection

Band Music from the Civil War Era is a collection with a great diversity of materials and required a correspondingly diverse approach to its digitization. Music manuscripts, scores, photographs, and recordings were among the materials digitized and each required a separate approach.

The band books were digitized by Preservation Resources from microfilm. Three images of each page were delivered: a 600 dpi bi-tonal TIFF, a 200 dpi greyscale JPEG, and a 200 dpi greyscale JPEG of only 600 pixel width. These images act as the printable image, the detailed image, and the page-turner image respectively.

The band books were often organized and published as sets of part books. The part books each contain all of the songs in the band book for a particular instrument. In order to preserve this format but also to make each song’s parts readily available, Library of Congress Music Division staff organized the online collection so that, where appropriate, each book can be viewed either by part book or by song title.

The sound recordings are taken from the compact disc recording Our Musical Past, vol. 1: A Concert for Brass Band, Voice and Piano (Library of Congress OMP 101/102). The online presentation of these recordings consists of WAVE format, MP3 format, and RealAudio format files. The WAVE and MP3 files were created by batch from the compact disc using the software package Audio Catalyst. The RealAudio format files were derived from the WAVE files using the software package Sound Forge.

The modern-edition full scores were created by Music Division staff using Finale2000 (Coda Music Software). The resulting Finale format files were converted to bitonal TIFF image files for online presentation.

The song sheets were scanned by Music Division staff directly from the original paper on the AGFA Horizon Ultra scanner. Images were captured as full-color, 300 dpi TIFFs before being converted to derivative reference JPEGs (64 colors and JPEG compression of 90) and page-turner GIFs (16 colors).

The images in the Photo Gallery were captured by Library of Congress ITS staff on the Phase One FX scanner and processed with MagicScan 4.0. Images were captured in full color at 7000x7000 dpi TIFFs before being converted to derivative reference JPEGs (64 colors and JPEG compression of 90) and thumbnail GIFs.

Band Music from the Civil War Era