Digitized Aladore

Finally, lets get some digital witnesses to work with!

There are basically two scanned books available online in many different versions with different processing.

Aladore, 1914 Title page

Aladore, 1914 Title page

First, is a copy of the 1914 Blackwood standard edition scanned at University of Toronto in 2006.  Several different versions of the scanned book are available.  U of T previously hosted PDFs on their own library website.  You can still get their two versions from the legacy links, although the catalog no longer points to them:

U of T 1914 edition: http://scans.library.utoronto.ca/pdf/1/5/aladoren00newbuoft/aladoren00newbuoft.pdf

U of T 1914 edition, processed to black and white: http://scans.library.utoronto.ca/pdf/1/5/aladoren00newbuoft/aladoren00newbuoft_bw.pdf

The U of T library now points to Scholars Portal Books, hosted by the Ontario Council of University Libraries.  The listing is here: http://books1.scholarsportal.info/viewdoc.html?id=75462

These PDFs are identical.  They are large (57.2 MB) and well made.

Internet Archive also hosts a derivative of this scan.  However, the PDF is much lower quality (10.9 MB) and has slow performance due to the odd layered post-processing.  IA also provides automatically generated alternative formats, such as EPUB, but the accuracy of the transcription is horrible. On the upside, IA provides much more metadata than any of the other sites.  https://archive.org/details/aladoren00newbuoft


Aladore, 1915 Title page

Aladore, 1915 Title page

Second, is a copy of the 1915 Dutton edition scanned at University of California Libraries in 2006.  This copy exists in two versions online.

University of California Libraries point to the record on Hathi Trust Digital Library.  Using Hathi can be annoying because they limit downloading many of their items, despite the fact that they are in the public domain.  They have a sort of pay wall that requires logging in from a partner institution to access the full site.  The second annoyance is that Hathi adds a huge border around the PDF pages that has a reference to the source file, plus a watermark over the bottom of the page.  In this case the watermark says “Digitized by Internet Archive, Original from University of California.”  Internet Archive does NOT include this watermark on their copy!  Unfortunately, in providing this format, Hathi does not seem to consider READING and readers.  It also seems a pathetic possessiveness over public domain materials.  Color and black+white PDFs are available from the Hathi catalog listing, and are of high quality (119 MB): http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006155073

Internet Archive also hosts a version of this scan, but again, their post-processing creates a lower quality (13.5 MB) and less useable PDF: https://archive.org/details/aladorehen00newbrich

Looking at the metadata provided by Internet Archive is really fascinating.  The digitization of both editions were sponsored by Microsoft.  One was shot using a Canon EOS 5D (at 400 ppi), the other a 1Ds (at 500 ppi)–almost certainly using an ATIZ BookDrive.  The 1915 was shot November 7th 2006, and the 1914 was shot ten days later.  The operators were “scanner-melissa-cunningham” and “scanner-katie-lawson.”

Even with all this random metadata, we do not know much about the digitization project or the post-processing.  To me it is strange that we do not better document the process, to understand the intentions behind how these objects were created.  It is interesting that the library catalogs do not represent ANY of the digitization metadata.  The catalogs only refer to the original object and seem completely uninterested in the digital one or how it came into existence.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Reflective moment | Digital Aladore

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