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Implementing a Quality Assurance Plan for Monitoring Scanner Performance

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This paper is a case study of the U.S. National Archives' Special Media and Preservation Division's implementation of an objective and quantifiable quality assurance program for monitoring scanner performance using the DICE/Golden Thread target and software for compliance with the Federal Agency Digitization Guideline Initiative (FADGI) guidelines. We present our experiences conceiving an approach for using the DICE/Golden Thread target and software; describe the steps we took to comprehend the data in a practical day-to-day process, and to relate it to the theory behind the guidelines and related standards. The combination of tools and guidelines has made the process of implementing an objective program possible.

The digitizing labs at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration use many different types of digital capture equipment and image processing workflows. Also, we have a wide array of digital projects with external partners, as well as a variety of internal digitization operations. By implementing a target based evaluation process, we plan to ensure a high degree of consistency to the production of raster images from all sources, and to reduce the number of customized workflows that rely upon visual inspection and subjective human evaluation of image quality.

Researchers depend on the archive community to create usable and sustainable products of digital imaging efforts. We believe creating quality digital products that conform to technical guidelines will meet NARA's goals for both preservation and access. By collecting good data, and by providing feedback to vendors and manufacturers about how their products perform, the archival imaging community and the public will benefit from improved equipment design.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • The IS&T (digital) Archiving Conference offers a unique opportunity for imaging scientists and those working in the cultural heritage community (curators, archivists, librarians, photographers etc) from around the world to come together to discuss the most pressing issues related to the digital preservation and stewardship of hardcopy, and other cultural heritage documents and objects. Authors come from museums, archives, libraries, government institutions, industry and academia. Cutting edge topics related to multispectral and 3D imaging, as well as best practices for workflow, sharing, standards, and asset/collection management and dissemination are explored in papers presented at this annual, international event.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in pertuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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