Thursday, September 10, 2009

Journal Facsimiles Update

So, I sent a photocopy of the original to Joan and Don Joy in Conway, South Carolina, so Joan could finish reading it, while I work on the rebinding of the original and the production of the facsimiles.

Today I picked up a proof copy of the facsimiles on ordinary paper, done for Bessenberg by a service bureau in Saline. The result isn't very good -- the problem is, the original is fine-point blue ball-point pen on somewhat faded paper. Turn that into a straight one-bit-per-pixel image using thresholding, and you've got a gritty-looking image with dropouts; bring the threshold up too high to make it darker, and the background starts to get speckled.

Bessenberg sends out their scanning and printing to a service bureau, so the binding is now on hold while I work with the service bureau to come up with something that looks better. They're probably accustomed to scanning dissertations in crisp black print on a white background, which doesn't require a high bit depth. I think what I'll have to do is ask them to scan it again, in color at perhaps 600 dpi, and give me a disc with the images. I'll then have to spend some time playing around with the images in Photoshop, which may mean finding the best per-page settings, then bring it down to a dithered black and white image, and have them print that.

So, on the one hand it looks like I will have to put more time into it, where I was hoping to pay other people to do all that. But on the other hand, the results should be closer to what I want -- and if it works out right, I'll also have an archival digital version, which is actually more than I had originally hoped for.