Digitizing WSU's Special Collections
The possibilities for other special digital collections from WSU’s holdings are limited by the need for one key piece of equipment. The WSU Libraries Council is raising $125,000 for purchase of a state of the art Zeutschel Omniscan 14000 AO scanner (PDF).
Washington State University Libraries are leaders in the digital preservation of rare documents. Librarians have created 75 significant digital collections that originate from its special collections. These collections capture the history of WSU, the Palouse, and the state of Washington using over 100,000 images, texts, sound files, and video clips. Key collections include:
- Early Washington Maps
- City of Pullman and the Palouse Image Collection
- Wallis and Marilyn Kimble Northwest History Database (50,000+ newspaper articles from the late 1930s)
- Lucullus V. McWhorter Collection (175 photographs of Native Americans)
- Palouse Digital Project (Palouse bioregion)
With current flatbed scanners WSU is not able to scan their rare books, such as Virginia Woolf’s private library or a 17th century edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost, because the equipment would break bindings and covers. Neither can the Libraries digitize objects larger than 17 inches. This is significant because some collections are in such poor condition that the information they contain will be lost if not preserved electronically. For example, it was recently discovered that 100 irreplaceable blueprints of historic campus architecture are infected with mold; it is essential that these oversized documents be preserved immediately by scanning them.
Your generous investment in this equipment will help to preserve, record, and share historical and literary information now residing in the libraries and archives of Washington State University. By doing so, you help WSU faculty and students, as well as historians, genealogists, and other researchers around the world.
scanner project complete!
Advantages of the Zeutschel Omniscan 14000 AO scanner:
- Secures and protects WSU’s rare books from broken bindings and covers with its flexible scanning table.
- 3D scan technology corrects distortion from the curve in open books.
- Scans in high resolution and true color.
- Eliminates UV radiation during digitization.