Procedural Anomalies

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Procedural Anomalies


Scanning Object

Metal paperclips, pins, and other removable fasteners

  • If the fastener can be safely removed, do so…carefully

[*When returning to box/folder, replace old metal fasteners with plastic clips]

Staples, brads, and other hard-to-remove fasteners

  • DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT DAMAGE THE ITEM: when in doubt, consult an archivist
  • Scan the item as-is
  • It should be possible to work around a corner or side fastener; laying open or folding back the paper is okay, just DON'T CREASE it

Things taped or glued to an item

  • Scan the item as-is
  • If the taped/glued object is hanging (not completely stuck down), it might be possible to push it back so that it blocks less of or less important parts of the item
  • If glue/tape works as a binding (side, corner), treat it as a hard-to-remove fastener (see above)

Interleaved material found in bound item

Item is very large

  • Take test images to evaluate lighting and focus at edges of items; if okay, capture
  • If too large for capture bed, consult with Jeremiah about how best to divide item over images

Paper or binding is fragile

  • If item can be scanned with extreme care, do it
    • Handle with gloves
    • Don't put under glass or otherwise compress
    • Don't use flatbed scanner

Intervening with Tracking or Metadata

Item not in box/folder

Make a note in the TrackingFiles. Obviously, you can't capture what's not there.

Item not in metadata: Manuscripts/auto-numbered by us

Item not in metadata: Photos/pre-numbered by archivists

  • Scan the item unless you've been told to leave out skipped items
  • Insert the missing number into the metadata spreadsheet and do your best to extrapolate metadata from nearby lines.

Item has fewer/more pages than metadata indicates

Multiple items actually constitute one object

Letter out of order: logical flow of letter does not match physical sequence of pages

  • Normally, when a letter is written on folded paper, we're easily able to reproduce the text in order by following it around the physical object. For example, some old letters that were written on folded paper (picture something like a greeting card) when unfolded begin on the right side of the page, move to the back, then wrap around to the left side of the front page: 4 1 | 2 3. The digital item pagination will reflect this order: 0004 0001 | 0002 0003.
  • If the flow of a letter's text does not match up in any straightforward way to its physical layout on the page, this is the rule of thumb: representing the object is more important than interpreting its content. If possible, begin with the first page, then scan the other pages in order. The image online, then, will approximate the researcher's experience of looking at the pages and trying to figure out how to follow the text.
  • Example
    • A letter might start on front right, jump to bottom of back right, continue on front left then back left, and end on top of back right: 3 1 | 4 5/2.
    • This would actually be scanned just like the simple example above: 0004 0001 | 0002 0003. Note that this results in 4 scans for 5 text parts. It's confusing and space-wasting to render the back right page (5/2 or 0003) twice. The researcher should be able to sort this out.
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