Part of developing this archive included planning and testing. At some point, however, the testing becomes overwhelming for type A personalities, because it's never good enough. Consequently, I have made an "executive decision". I will begin publishing scanned material with the option of replacing it at a later date if I am able to achieve improved resolution. The deciding factor for this decision is essentially financial. In order to begin this project, I had to replace a failing hard drive. I then made the decision to purchase a larger format flatbed scanner. Those of you who have priced larger format flatbed scanners know that they are expensive. I was able to find a brand that was in the two hundred dollar range but obviously there are compromises involved in the price break. It is not the top of the line processor. At this point, the scans at full size appear to be decent. I have begun testing and will soon publish a digital version of one of the early yearbooks. Fortunately, I already owned a version of Adobe Photoshop that while dated is still a very versatile and robust software. I have also experimented with using a digital slr camera which would make the digitizing process much faster. I have yet to produce a suitable image through this method. The problems I am encountering include unwanted shadows and coloring. I have experimented with lighting and white balance settings but am not satisfied yet. A macro lens might help but that is not in the budget. My intention is not to complain, but rather to explain. With the equipment used by Google Books or other digital library consortiums, we could come much closer to perfection, but with the equipment we have, we can still meet our goals of preserving the information and providing access to the history of GCCA and GCBC.
My apologies if you find this boring. I am recording my thoughts for my own benefit and the benefit of those who might be attempting a similar project. I will be posting a bibliography of works consulted under the About tab on the web site, along with specifications, resolutions, and formats that I have chosen. I will also include URLs for websites that have been extremely helpful such as the Library of Congress and Smithsonian pages directed specifically at amateur archivists attempting similar projects.