Stanford Libraries: “Conserving and Digitizing the New York Weekly Dime Novels”
Over the last year, the Digital Production Group (DPG), along with the Conservation and Metadata units, and led by American and British Literature Curator Rebecca Wingfield, have been engaged in a multi-institution project to increase access to dime novels and story papers, digitizing over 700 dime novels from the library’s holdings. You can read more about the project, an NEH-funded partnership between Villanova University and Northern Illinois University, in this blogpost. As of February 2022, digitization work is complete, and the project team is wrapping up the final aspects of the project, including quality assurance, metadata, and eventual release to Searchworks.
Although the project included numerous titles (Log Cabin Library, Brave and Bold, and Diamond Dick, Jr. to name a few), the title with the largest share digitized was the broadside story paper the New York Weekly. The New York Weekly, like all dime novels and story papers, was mass-produced and printed on thin paper, meaning that the issues had degraded and were fragile, and required conservation treatment and additional preparation and handling for digitization. Adding to the complexity was the size of The New York Weekly, measuring 42″ x 28″ when unfolded. In consultation with the Conservation department, the Digital Production Group determined the safest and most efficient method of digitizing the issues, while minimizing the handling and movement of the material. In the following sections, Chris Hacker, Astrid Smith, and Sarah Newton will describe the conservation assessment, repairs, and digitization workflow for these rare and fragile Dime Novels.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.