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Author Topic: You can now scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress  (Read 11951 times)

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Offline Yoc

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Hi Gang,
Thanks to diligent work by our own Fan777 (Carl) we have learned it is possible for the public to request comics from The Library of Congress collection and use the overhead scanner on their premises to scan comics!

Here is what Carl recently told us about it -

After you register and get your library card and go to room LM 133 of the Madison building, you fill out a request list of 20 or less books and wait about 30 minutes for the aides to get them.  If you contact them in advance, they will put them on hold.  Go to the newspaper and periodicals section of the website and use the search for individual titles. Use the "ask the Librarian part" to put books on hold.
There are plenty of non PD books.
 
 
Most of what I scanned was brittle and delicate but its an overhead scanner so you don't put any pressure on them. I had to use my fingers to stretch them out

-Carl


Carl, if I left anything out or you wanted to add more detail, please feel free to add a reply to this topic.

One warning though - it seems the LOC scanner is in need of calibration.  There is a fade from green to magenta across the page on all their raw scans.  This isn't perfect but it is possible to correct the problem with PhotoShop.  So anyone willing to scan at the LOC, please contact us here and we can arrange for someone to edit your raw scan if you can't fix the problem on your own.  I'll include an example of what it looks like below.

Thanks again to Carl for learning about this incredible resource now available to scanner out there willing to travel to the LOC.  If anyone is considering it please check our 'COMICS STILL NEEDED FOR SCANNING' topic.

Let us know if you plan a visit.

-Yoc


Digital Comic Museum


Offline Yoc

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Re: More details on scanning comics in the LOC
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 04:31:04 PM »
Here are some questions and answers on scanning at Washington's Library of Congress.

(Questions by CadetEd)
1- What costs are involved with using the scanner?
2- Can you bring a Flash Drive to download our scans?
3- Which LOC URL's did you use to find your books?
4- What is the best mode of transportation to the LOC i.e. is Metro or the VRE  close by?


Answers from Carl (fan777)
Hi Ed,
 
No cost to use the scanner, I used it for 22 hours over three days with only a few interruptions by others
 
Flash drives fit right into the scanner.
 
Getting to the part of the website that lists the comic is a little tricky, try http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/faqs/per/comic.html  
You need to find the comic in their catalogue - http://catalog2.loc.gov/
 
The bus line with 30's (32,34 etc) stops right outside the Madison bldg. I think the metro stop is capitol south. I couldn't wait to return my rental car once I got settled.
 
You can contact Librarian Megan Halstead direct thru "ask the Librarian" section of the website.  She will respond within 5 days.
In further communication you must always have the question number in the subject box.
 
Once you're set up you can do a golden age book in 15-20 minutes. The staff will bring you up to 20 books at a time. A number of the ones I scanned were brittle and falling apart, which were actually easily to get a flat scan than the more supple books.
 
Good luck,
 
Carl

Offline bminor

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 02:26:51 PM »
What a wonderful resource!
B.

Offline Soothsayr

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 12:49:16 PM »
I went over to the LOC yesterday and did a few page replacements for Carl. The whole process seems easy enough. Next trip, a few more fixes for Carl/Snard then I will be doing whole books after that hopefully after tweaking the scanning process (see below).

One warning though - it seems the LOC scanner is in need of calibration.  There is a fade from green to magenta across the page on all their raw scans.  This isn't perfect but it is possible to correct the problem with PhotoShop.  So anyone willing to scan at the LOC, please contact us here and we can arrange for someone to edit your raw scan if you can't fix the problem on your own.  I'll include an example of what it looks like below.

Is it a macro-able process? Or can someone do a writeup on how to do this fix?

I will be trying a few different things next time I go (next week?) to see if it improves anything. What I will try: (1) move the book up to top of the scanner where the color deviation seems less severe, (2) use a white background behind the book. 

If it'd be possible to bring two led lights to put on the scanning bed, it would help too, but it'd become cumbersome at that point.

-sooth


Offline Yoc

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 08:07:20 PM »
Hi Sooth,
Thanks SO much for joining in on this wonderful opportunity that the LOC is giving us.

I did an edit on and LOC book from Carl now on the site - http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/index.php?dlid=21868
I used PhotoShop CS5 and applied a hue fading from green to magenta in the opposite direction as that on the page and at 25% or less opacity.
Then I pumped up the contrast to bring the colours back.

If you like Sooth, I'd be happy to do any and all edits for you or if you have PhotoShop I could send you an action file (I think, never tried it before.)

Feel free to contact me directly via email or here in a Private Message - when you are ready to do entire books I'd like to suggest a couple if you are willing.

Hope to hear from you,
-Yoc

Offline bminor

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 08:41:53 AM »
 It would interesting to see photos of the setup at the Library of Congress where this is all done.
Where it is, the equipment and how you do it.
I would find it facinating. Being way up in the woods of north Wisconsin I will most likely never be able to visit the LC anytime soon.
Thanks for all your efforts!

Offline fan777

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 04:23:58 PM »
the setup at the LOC is very boring, just desks and equipment with the scanner dominating the center of the floor. they also have color microfiche readers for research.

I really want to encourage anyone who lives within 200 miles of DC to go and scan or plan a vacation there.  I stayed at HI Washington for $35. a night breakfast included. Greyhound will take you to Union station which is a short bus ride or walk to the Madison Bldg. It will take about 20 minutes to get a library card good for 2 years. You can bring a laptop into the reading room but no bags. There plenty of great comics left to scan.  Everything is saved to your flashdrive for editing at a later date.  Check your work, it's easy to make a mistake on the touchscreen or forget a save.

Offline Yoc

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 05:43:52 PM »
Thanks for finding and offering all this info Carl!
DCM would also like to encourage any members interested in filling holes on DCM to consider this opportunity.  Especially local members such as Sooth above.
:)

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2013, 10:02:16 AM »
Just wondering... has anyone here ever ventured to New York City and visited the main research library of the NYPL?  I actually worked there briefly waaaay back in my early college years (as a library page) and I think I recall them having a comic book collection. 

I think you need to fill out a special visitation request in advance (since obviously some of the items are quite valuable), and I'm not sure they allow scanning, but it might be worth looking into anyway.

Offline billmorrell

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 12:16:20 PM »
Back in junior high, this was my dream job. Surrounded by old comics all the time and able to read them, catalog them, and basically be a librarian just for them.  I'm glad to hear that such a job exists and that these resources are being made available to the public.

Do you know if the LOC has any concerns regarding scanning of comics?  I assume the answer is no, but I can't find anything in their FAQs referencing copyright or anything, although for PD comics, that shouldn't be an issue, I suppose.
If I ever make it back to DC and have some time, I'm definitely going to stop by.

Your link, by the way, is incorrect, and should be http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/faqs/per/comic.html

Offline Yoc

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 08:15:24 PM »
Thanks for the correct Bill, I've fixed the post.

Offline Soothsayr

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 08:59:36 AM »
Went by a second time, learned a few more things.

(1) Most DEFINITELY do send your request ahead of time, 1-2 days before. Not a few hours before.  mea culpa. 

(2) They close at 9:30 PM on Monday/Wednesdays/Thursdays, so it seemed the most ideal time to do it after work, at least for me.  Unfortunately, I learned last night that all the comics must be returned at 7:45 PM so they can be put in the vault. This is a recent change so it puts a (slight) wrench in my plans.

(3) I used 2 white backing boards taped together to give me a white background while taking scans (photos?) - it seemed to help a little bit. I also moved the whole book up a bit more to the other end of the scanning table, and pressed the darken button twice and it seemed to me that the results were better. There's still a slight pinkish bleed on the edges towards the bottom on the outside gutters, and it's mostly in reaction to the tanning edges of the book itself. If anyone has used a Book2net kiosk scanner (http://new.book2net.net/en/book-scanner/book2net-kiosk.html) and has tips on how to improve scan quality, I'm all eyes/ears!  Oh yeah, I also used two metal brackets to hold down the book to get a flatter scan.

(4) I hope to begin doing full book scans very soon (I've been doing page fills the first two trips) - Yoc has graciously agreed to be the point person at DCM for me to coordinate things with, so THANK YOU YOC! :)

(5) Using the online catalog:  It's not the most easiest system - some things require some creativity in searching for things. For example, I couldn't search for Dell's Large Feature books, but by searching for only "Gang Busters" I found an entry that had #10 listed - which is Large Feature #10. YMMV...but if you find books through some arcane search terms, be sure to let Yoc or whoever know.

(6) Oh yeah - don't bother bringing a bag with your stuff in it - they'll make you check it in at the coat room.  They will let you have a plastic (clear) bag that you can put your things you need in and take it to the Periodicals room. I am just going to go straight to the room with this plastic bag next time.

I'll update this with things I learn from subsequent visits.

Sooth

Offline Yoc

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 09:33:50 AM »
Thanks for the info Sooth, especially the name and model of their scanner!

Anyone that wants to work with Sooth here should contact me so he isn't swamped with requests.  Use the PM button or send me an email or post here.

Sooth, if anyone contacts you directly feel free to send them my way if you like.

Thanks again for all your work Sooth and to fan777 for revealing this world of opportunity to us!
-Yoc

Offline tbdeinc

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Re: You now can scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 12:25:28 PM »
WOW! I wish the Toronto Metro Library got this... I would be there every day!

GPG

Offline Yoc

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Re: You can now scan comics at Washington's Library of Congress
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 11:42:40 AM »
The problem with the colouring on the LOC scanner has been corrected.
Our thanks to Soothsayr for alerting them to the situation.
:)