Showing posts with label handmade books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label handmade books. Show all posts

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hours and hours and hours in the life of the peon archivist

Mike occasionally writes about A Day in the Life of a [chief] Archivist and I thought I'd chime in with what it's like if you're not the lead dog, so to speak.

We got a request for a scan of a "receipt" book that belonged to Horace Gillette. It's a hand-written, late-19th century book of recipes for a variety of things from pharmaceuticals to lamp black. I know this because I've looked at of this.....blessed least 6 times now. All 120 pages.

It's a small book, about 4" x 5.25" with hand-marbled paper on the cover and bound after the fact; that is, after the "receipts" were written, by being sewn through the top edges of the pages with twine or something similar. What I'm getting at here is because of its age and the way it's bound I can't slap the thing on a scanner, but had to photograph Since then, I've sent every.sing - oh, you know what I mean - through Photoshop and have had the hardest time keeping the color consistent from page to page. I'm sure there are PS users out there who could whip this out in no time, but I'm not one of them. In the process I compressed the files too much and now they're so soft they're pretty much unreadable. Time to start over.

I've brought the original shots home to work on on my own time because I figured it was my ineptitude that caused the first batch to fail and I'd already spent two days on it at work. My next try of the first half-dozen pages resulted in more of the same problems with color consistency, so now I'm trying yet again by opening them in Camera RAW format which gives me greater control. I sure hope it works because I'm pretty darned sick of this book by now. When I finish it (and I will!!) I'll post a link to it so you can see this albatross for yourselves.