Thursday, February 23, 2012


Screen photo of software
to convert slides to photographs


The Caldwell High School slides needed to be converted into a photograph format. Previously, the slides had been removed from the slide carousel in the original order they were found in. 

Each slide was inserted into archival slide notebook sleeves (See photo of slide notebook below). An archival marker pen was used to consecutively number each sleeve insert at the bottom-left corner.

Archival notebook
sleeves for slides
The box with the slide notebook and control file was opened and the slide notebook was removed. Each slide would need to be scanned and saved into a computer file. 

The scanner used for this purpose was an “Epson Perfection V500 Photo”. The scanner had a slide tray that could be placed upon the glass, which would hold up to four slides (See slide tray photo below). 

Only one slide at a time was scanned, due to the time needed to scan more, plus the file names and numbers would be easier to keep up with one. In addition, the insert attached to the inside of the lid had to be removed in order for the slide tray to work properly.

Example of Excel files with slide number, date, & photo description:
Slide 1:
1978 May
Basketball players (Males-10) standing in front of charter buses. Some names/initials on front of caps, including: RJJ, JOHNNY, ROY, AL, & KENNY.
Slide 2:
1978 Mar
Basketball players (Males) on court during game
Slide 3:
1978 Mar
Basketball players (Males) on court during game, while making a free-throw shot
Slide 4:
1978 May
Basketball players (Males-7) standing in front of charter buses. One is on the shoulders of two others, & holding a trophy

An Excel file was used to keep notes about each slide, such as number (a total of 137), date, and a photo description. This was printed and kept nearby to write details as each slide was scanned. The Epson Scan application was opened on a computer connected to the scanner. The settings used to scan each slide were the following:

Photo of scanner
with slide attachment
and slide ready to be scanned
Mode – Home
Document Type – Positive Film
Image Type – Color
Destination – Printer
Target – 4 x 6 in.
Image – Color Restoration, Backlight Correction, and Digital ICE Technology

Before a slide was inserted, a date stamp was looked for on the slide. If there was a date given, it was written down on the printed Excel sheet for that particular slide. The direction the slide was placed into the frame did not matter, but after you do a few of them, you know which direction to place the slide, in order to skip adjusting the frame 
                                                         direction during the "Preview". 

After the scan for preview is completed, you can double-click on the photo to enlarge it. If you need to adjust the frame direction, it can be done at this step. There are also options to reverse or mirror the photo direction. The need for this can be determined by looking at any signs or lettering in the photo, to see if it is reversed. Once any adjustments are completed, you click on the "Scan" tab. This scan usually takes several minutes to complete. (The “dpi” can be set to the number desired during an advanced setup.) While this is occurring, notes can be made upon the Excel page about the dates and details noticed about the photo. This will become a finding aid for the collection once the scans, from slides to photographs, are completed.

When each scan is completed, you save and name the file. The slides were saved as JPEG image format, in a file titled CHS Slides to Photographs. Each slide was renamed with the prefix Caldwell Slide, the number of the slide, and the processed file name. For example, the file would be named: Caldwell Slide 15_MS 451.jpg

After a number of slides had been scanned and saved, each was emailed to the archivist, Mona Vance. Only two slides were sent with each email, since each took several seconds to load. This work was being done on another worker’s computer. The email was sent from my personal email account, which also enabled working on the finding aid at a later time, because the images were accessible through the sent mail settings regardless of location or computer. The archivist could study the images and possibly load some onto the library’s local history blog, to inquire about knowledge of the content, from patrons.

Student Journal Reflections

This stage of the project has revealed how much time is spent preparing a finding aid. In addition to the preliminary time the archivist had already instilled in creating the control file; as a practicum worker, I have accumulated almost 20 hours on-site with the project, and still have a lot or work to do. Also, many hours have been spent off-site in further research. 

I can see the value of the information that has been learned about the slides. There is very little information about Caldwell High School to be found. The newspaper articles from the Archives’ vertical file was a good starting point, but further research proved that there were some mistakes in them. So far, the yearbooks in the Archives have been the most revealing about the history of the school. 

Now that the research for the historical description is completed, the progress on the "slides to photographs" scans can proceed without interruption. As further details are derived from the photos, it may be possible to identify more specific information, which may lead to the public bringing in more items related to Caldwell High School.

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