Introducing The Digital Library Center

The Digital Library Center at FSU’s Strozier Library has digitized thousands of rare and unique items ranging from existing materials in FSU’s own Special Collections & Archives division to international patron research requests.

Their staff of experts consists of Willa Patterson, Giesele Towels and studio manager, Stuart Rochford. Together they carefully work to create content for the ever-growing FSU Digital Library, which already contains a vast collection of academic and FSU-related scans.

Utilizing a combination of flat-bed scanners, a book scanner and a medium-format, overhead camera, the Digital Library Center creates accurate copies and works closely with its patrons to deliver the perfect product.

The DLC typically receives digitization requests directly from Special Collections & Archives and, based on the size and scope of the project, will ultimately decide which equipment to use for the job. Smaller, flat items such as individual manuscripts and photographs are usually scanned using the extremely capable Epson Expression 10000 XL.

ATIZ BookDrive Pro with cradle and lighting kit
ATIZ BookDrive Pro with cradle and lighting kit

Other times they are handed fragile, rare books with damaged binding or spines which require a bit more delicate attention. For these materials, the Epson would do more harm than good, due to having to lay the book flat and apply pressure for an accurate scan. In this case they will move to the ATIZ BookDrive Pro (pictured above) which features a 120° V-shaped book cradle and adjustable glass for applying gentle pressure to lay the pages flat.

This setup contains two Canon Mark II 5Ds and an LED lighting kit for uniform light distribution. The book scanner software allows for rapid production by shooting two pages at a time and automatic organization and numeration.

Large-format camera
Phase One IQ180 Medium Format Camera

For larger materials, including maps, posters and even oversized books, the Digital Library Center uses their powerhouse setup; the overhead medium format Phase One IQ180 camera back with Schneider lens and vacuum base (to pull the items flat). Along with two massive HID (High Intensity Discharge) light fixtures, this setup allows the DLC to produce accurate copies without sacrificing the integrity of the photographed material.

Together, the Digital Library Center staff and its state-of-the-art technology produce accurate and high-resolution scans and continues to upload quality content for our researchers’ convenience. Feel free to browse around FSU’s online Digital Library and see what we’ve been up to!

Stuart Rochford is the Digital Library Center manager at FSU and has worked with Strozier Library since 2011. He graduated from FSU with a BFA in graphic design and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Library Science.

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