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December 2000


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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
"Joseph A. Cutshall-King" <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 8 Dec 2000 19:45:14 -0500
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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
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I think that states it well. There are mechanical limitations now that would
urge the saving of the original until a later time. But, to Phil Lord's
philosophical point, we also need to examine what we save and why.

The problem is that it appears that there is too quick a rush to judge as
very acceptable the quality of reproduction to be had from the media
currently assigned to hold those copies, well as to accept as quasi-eternal
the durability of that same media.

My only point in originally jumping into the conversation last month was
lament the loss of artifacts. I suppose I'll always be a "curator-type,"
i.e. a saver, at heart. But I acknowledge that, to some, the loss of the
original is not a loss.

Joe Cutshall-King

"Thomas W. Perrin" wrote:

>  My comments on Digital photography being performed by low end cameras
> were based
>  upon an examination of the machines and their specifications at the
> Canon booth
>  at the American Library Association meeting in New Orleans a year and a
> half ago.
>  While it is true that I can put together a superb (color, high
> resolution, depth of field) digital photography setup in my home for
> less than $5000, including computer, the fact remains that the
> processing of material is slow. (as it should be).
>  I suggest that the machines being purchased by institutions are more
> likely to fall into the expensive ($15,000 and up) low resolution (300
> dpi), black and white, high speed, high volume cameras.
>  There is a significant technical limitation with regards to image
> quality: the higher the quality, the more memory is required and the
> processing time between images is correspondingly increased, thus
> slowing the whole process down. The progression of the limitation is
> geometric rather than arithmetic. A small increase in resolution
> mandates a disproportionately greater increase in memory and speed
> requirements.
>  I can purchase a large format digital Leica camera for $24,000 that
> will exceed any specification that film has to offer. But it's
> impractical with regards to memory storage and speed for the kind of
> volume processing that we are talking about.
>  On the other hand, IF the originals are preserved, then within decades
> we may be able to revisit them with more efficient technology.
>  Tom Perrin