I work on this kind of thing in the world of commercial releases, specifically modern reissues of
music recorded and released in the LP era. Here are some partial answers to some of your questions,
purely based on my own work and experience. So it's just one data-point in your research.
1. from a commercial standpoint, original artwork used in reissue graphics is important because it's
what buyers want in the product. This was learned in the marketplace in the 1990s. "Authenticity"
matters in the world of commercial sales. A digital scan is important because it can be used for
both printed booklets/liner notes and also for online advertising, catalog information or download
materials for download-only releases.
From a corporate-assets point of view, scans of original album covers are often the only way to
reproduce the graphic content. In another thread on this list, I cited a fire at a warehouse in the
early 2000's that destroyed much original artwork for Mercury and other UMG labels. So for instance
with new remasters of Mercury Living Presence albums, in most cases the best source of "authentic"
graphics and liner notes is a high-quality scan of the original LP cover. This has actually become
more important in the age of box sets of CDs in "mini-LP" slip covers.
2. for my purposes, I've had good results and an efficient workflow with an Epson large-format
scanner. I scan directly into a long-outdated version of Photoshop, usually perform some minor
contrast and color-balance touchup and then save as "maximum" resolution JPG. I've found that no one
at the record companies or their graphics production places wants to deal with Photoshop PSD files
or TIFF lossless files. They'd rather have some minor lossiness and have universal JPG format. This
might be different in the visual-archives world. I'm sure it's not "best practices", but it's how
things work in the world of commerce and deadlines.
3. as for storage, I always keep things backed up to at least two different drives. I can't say I'm
confident material sent over to corporate servers is as well accounted for or maintained, but hope
springs eternal. I do know I've been asked for the same things again and again in a few cases, so
files may disappear into data blackholes occasionally. I've always taken the time to keep my image
files sorted and organized, so I have about 15 years of stuff that has migrated through a few
computers and hard drives and is still in good working order.
If I were doing a higher volume of digitizing LP covers, I would investigate a copy-stand and DSLR
camera setup. It's doable, although you need to spend the time and money to get the lighting right,
which is difficult with glossy covers and also it's something of a challenge to uniformly illuminate
a 12x12 area and have the camera pick it up as such. Now that I wrote that, I'm happy once again I
stuck with a flatbed scanner! It may be a little cumbersome to lift the lid and line up the artwork
so it's square repeatedly, but once the scanning takes place, I always get a highly usable image,
and the process is repeatable.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Allison Bohm" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2015 1:58 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] LP and Media Imaging
> Hello, I'm currently trying to complete a project regarding the archival
> imaging of audio media, particularly vinyl records/LPs. I was wondering if
> anyone on the listserv is currently undergoing projects to capture images
> of items such as LPs. If so, would you be willing to share why you think
> that this kind of project is important and should be funded and completed?
> Some questions that I am currently trying to gather information for
> Why do you believe these types of projects and initiatives are important?
> How are these projects funded?
> Who completes the work?
> What type of equipment is used, and why?
> How and where are the images stored?
> Any insight or comments would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to respond
> off-list as well, although it isn't necessary.
> Thank you!
> Allison Bohm
> Indiana University
> Music Librarianship Specialization, Archives and Records Management
> MDPI SMARTeam Member
> LAMC Technical Services Assistant