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new electronic presentation of digital images of rare
books. In doing so, however, they had to develop
appropriate and cost-effective imaging systems, suit-
able for a wide range of preservation activities.
Octavo's Digital Imaging Laboratory (ODIL) is
being installed at leading libraries around the world,
including the US Library of Congress and The
Folger Shakespeare Library. It is expected that work
will be performed by Octavo in collaboration with
collections at the British Library, and the Vatican
Library. Under the auspices of the International
Centre for Information Management, Systems, and
Services (ICIMSS), which is interested in establishing
a digitisation curriculum for librarians, perhaps such
institutions as the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków,
Poland, and other University and Municipal Libraries
in Central and Eastern Europe can also benefit from
Octavo technologies.
Octavo's Digital Imaging Laboratory
The ODIL is a customised capture and storage system,
created to produce the high-quality master images
appropriate for high-end digital preservation. Deriva-
tive images for an array of publishing purposes (both
print and Web-based) can easily be prepared from such
images. Octavo's imaging process is desig-ned specifi-
cally for capturing images of rare books. Consideration
is given to both their frailties and their unique aesthe-
tic qualities. For example, custom-built book cradles
and special full-spectrum and cool lighting enable the
capture of fine details while protecting the books from
unnecessary exposure to light or heat. In presenting
the volumes for view, these processes result in an evenly
lit and natural appearance inasmuch as the books are
typically presented as open double-page spreads with
untrimmed (uncropped) page edges visible.
The Laboratory includes:
° Wide-body digital camera with optics suitable for
digital imaging
° Ultra high-resolution (10,500 x 12,600 pixels),
tri-linear digital scanning system
° Cool full-spectrum, non-fluorescent lighting
° High-speed FireWire interface for camera system
and local disk storage
° Multiprocessor Apple Power Macintosh G4 computer
for rapid image processing and camera management
° 22-inch colour-managed LCD display
° Image-handling and management software called
the `Online Capture System' and other off-the-
shelf software useful to the operator.
Optional customisation includes:
° Scale Eight Media Port router connections to
secure, redundant storage
° Local 1400 dpi archival pigment colour inkjet
proof printer
° Flexible copy stand, adjustable camera stand, and
related furniture
Today, Octavo offers a comprehensive programme
focussing on imaging, storage, access, and innovative
digital solutions including:
° needs analysis and planning of solutions in digital
° state-of-the-art digital capture/imaging services,
equipment, and expertise;
° digital editions of rare works;
° Web-based systems for the management and re-use
of archival quality images and digital surrogates;
° electronic distribution services;
° educational seminars and training programmes
with professional organisations and associations.
DigiCULT 29