A little known sketchbook used by the world famous Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh on a tour of Italy has now been opened up for use online at www.vads.ac.uk/collections/MAC
The sketchbook, which is today held in the Glasgow School of Art archive, was taken by Charles Rennie Mackintosh on his tour of Italy, France and Belgium in 1891 as the recipient of the Alexander Thomson Travelling Studentship.
It provides a unique insight into the architect’s formative years and shows Mackintosh as a young architect with a mind of his own. Mackintosh ignored the strict stipulations of the grant body which made his trip possible, and instead pursued his desire to learn more about Renaissance architecture.
From a message sent by the Digital Preservation Coalition
The Digital Preservation Coalition has examined JPEG 2000 in a report published today. The report concludes that JPEG 2000 represents a great stride forward for the archival community. The format now allows for greater compression rates and a recompression rate that is visually lossless.
The findings come as the Digital Preservation Coalition launch its latest ‘Technology Watch Report’ written by Dr. Robert Buckley, a Research Fellow with Xerox, ‘JPEG 2000 – a practical digital preservation standard?’. The report looks in-depth at the new format and the challenges it has to cope with. JPEG 2000 is widely used to collect and distribute a variety of images from geospatial, medical imaging, digital cinema, and image repositories to networked images. Interest in JPEG 2000 is now growing in the archival and library sectors, as institutions look for more efficient formats to store the results of major digitisation programmes.
The report is aimed at organisations involved in the management and storage of digital information. The in-depth report will help archives, libraries and other institutions make informed decisions about JPEG 2000 format and their future storage needs.
JPEG 2000 can reduce storage requirements by an order of magnitude compared to an uncompressed TIFF file. Dr. Buckley says, “This new format has come at a time of heightened awareness about the access to digital documents. Any format that can assist archives and libraries to do this is welcome.”
The format will also enable users to open as much of the file as they need at that time. This means a viewer, for example, could open a gigapixel image almost instantly. This is achieved by retrieving a decompressed low–resolution display sized image from the JPEG 2000 codestream. Coupled with this, the users’ ability to zoom, pan and rotate an image have been enhanced.
Adrian Brown, head of digital preservation, The National Archives said: “This is a very timely addition to the DPC’s Technology Watch Report series as many organisations are themselves reviewing the JPEG2000 format. This concise, comprehensive and clear guide will be of interest to practitioners across the digital preservation community.”
The report concludes that JPEG 2000 offers much more flexibility and features than JPEG, but at the cost of greater complexity. It is however a great stride forward, and of major significance for the information management community.
To download a pdf of the report please go to: http://www.dpconline.org/graphics/reports/index.html#twr0801
The British Library have, in association with various other cultural heritage institutions in the UK, added to their impressive Turning the Pages application.
Various documents from the 12th to the 19th centuries, selected via a national competition, are now online.
The striking concept about the Turning the Pages it that is does not digitise the individual images of a book, but goes further in imitating the process of actually leafing through a book or manuscript – the software attempts to mimic not just visual appearance, but tactile appearance as well. The machines installed in the BL itself where one touches and drags the pages by pressing the actual screen are even more impressive than the online versions, a fact amplified by the larger and clearer monitor
The original Turning the Pages was developed using Shockwave, but the updated software is based on collaboration with Microsoft. I expect to see more such tools as the BL further establishes its Microsoft partnership
Digitisation project managers are sometimes keen to digitise at a lowish resolution, creating digital images that will work well for current needs, but maybe not in the future. It can be difficult to convince them that there is benefit in digitising at a higher resolution; that choosing 600dpi rather than 400dpi is more than an unnecessary luxury.
A report by JISC on future display technologies shows that the capabilities of monitors, screen and other such hardware are progressing rapidly. Faced with screens of bigger size and better resolution, images digitised to a high level will look significantly better than those digitised at a lower level. Those digitisation managers that have taken the risk and created large will be the ones who see the dividends.
The report is a useful piece of evidence and worth bearing in mind when pondering what standards and settings to use in an image capture project.
A reminder that there are still places at the Digital Preservation Coalition, British Library workshop on JPEG 2000.
The workshop takes place on 25th June at the British Library, London.