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RIT Study Benchmarks Quality Of Digital Archiving In American Museums

Date:
August 23, 2005
Source:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Summary:
Scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology have discovered a wide range of quality in the digital images being produced by American museums, libraries, and other cultural-heritage institutions and unfamiliarity with scientific protocol in the use of digital photography and color management.

Scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology havediscovered a wide range of quality in the digital images being producedby American museums, libraries, and other cultural-heritageinstitutions and unfamiliarity with scientific protocol in the use ofdigital photography and color management.

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Roy Berns, the R. S.Hunter Professor in Color Science, Appearance and Technology, andFranziska Frey, assistant professor in the School of Print Media, led atwo-year study that included a comprehensive survey of museumpractices, a detailed scientific evaluation of digital practices atseveral institutions and the development of a national conference todiscuss the state of digital imaging and roadblocks to move forward.Their study provides new insight into the use and quality of digitalimaging by American museums to catalogue and market their collections.

“Digitalimagery is increasingly becoming the main medium for accessing Americanartwork,” Berns says. “These digital surrogates are used by scholarsand students, alike, beginning in childhood. Our goal is to help createimagery of the highest possible quality”.

“Throughout theproject, we worked closely with the photographers in cultural heritageinstitutions,” Frey says. “This approach ensured that we were clear onthe tasks facing the image creators. In a future step it will also makeit easier to help implement new workflows that take full advantage ofwhat digital photography has to offer”.

Previously, museums usedfilm photography to capture images of their artwork for publication incatalogues, books, art history texts, magazines, posters, andpromotional materials. Many institutions are now moving to digitalimaging due to the higher quality of digital photographs and thegreater flexibility computerized archives allow.

“Digital imagingis still in its infancy and there is a lack of experience and knowledgein how to produce the best images,” Berns adds. “Our research willhopefully provide a standardized process and a better understanding ofwhat a quality image should look like.”

Berns and Frey’s studywas principally funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. They areplanning to use their findings to push the quality in digital imageproduction to a higher level through creating and promoting measurabletests and stricter protocols for image capture. A complete list of keyfindings and future research initiatives are attached to this release.You may also access the full report athttp://www.cis.rit.edu/museumSurvey/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rochester Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rochester Institute of Technology. "RIT Study Benchmarks Quality Of Digital Archiving In American Museums." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050821231459.htm>.
Rochester Institute of Technology. (2005, August 23). RIT Study Benchmarks Quality Of Digital Archiving In American Museums. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050821231459.htm
Rochester Institute of Technology. "RIT Study Benchmarks Quality Of Digital Archiving In American Museums." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050821231459.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

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