Photogrammar, FSA Collection and Film Scanning Image Quality Assurance

National Public Radio today broadcast a story about a web-based tool for organizing and searching the US Library of Congress’s large collection of depression-era (1935-46) Photographs. The collection was created by US Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information.fig1

Photogrammar, organized by Professor Laura Wexler and a team at Yale University, provides several ways to explore the collection.  Links are provided to the posted digital records, including the high-resolution digital images.


Medical unit training, Greenville SC. Jack Delano 1943.

Film (Re-) Scanning: The original film scanning was performed in the 1990s, but in 2010 the Library of Congress (LC) started a project to rescan the film originals, following improvements in image capture technology. This effort is initially focusing on the most at-risk film negatives, according to Don Williams who contributes to imaging performance monitoring and standards for LC. Don (Image Science Associates) and I provide both consulting and tools to support this and other image quality assurance programs. The project is ongoing.


Scanner test target

FADGI: The guidelines used to maintain consistent imaging performance were developed under the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI), and include techniques that Don and I present in our series of courses and workshops, e.g. IS&T’s Archiving Conference. In 2015 the conference will be held at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Peter D. Burns, Burns Digital Imaging LLC