Digitizing the Leffingwell Scrapbooks

A Study in Complex and Fragile Materials

Where do you start when you want to digitize a collection of complex and fragile materials?

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University Libraries holds, in its Leffingwell Collection, scrapbooks that document American theatre performances from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These scrapbooks include loose items, folded sections, and acidic paper mounted on base pages of nearly transparent tissue.

The project of digitizing these scrapbooks presented numerous challenges, from choosing which volumes should be converted to deciding how to handle long newspaper clippings, loose bindings, and detached covers, as well as brittle, creased, and dog-eared tissue pages.

In this webinar, Nena Couch and Emily Shaw, of The Ohio State University Libraries, and Courtney LoPresti, of Backstage Library Works, describe the process of selecting and preparing these materials for digitization and discuss decisions that were made before and during the digital imaging process.


What concerns do you have in digitizing your fragile materials? Which of your collections need a bit of preliminary planning before you can push forward with your digitization goals?

Perhaps we can help. Call us at 1-800-288-1265 or drop us a note.

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