DIAMM was set up in 1998, when archive-quality digital imaging was relatively in its infancy, and has worked in archives across the UK and Europe, and as far afield as Japan, producing consistent results of the highest quality. Our experience therefore is longer than most institutions and commercial businesses offering this type of digitization. Archive-quality imaging is not as simple as many equipment purchasers believe: it is worlds away from the consumer digital camera market, where the end user can buy a camera, computer and printer off the shelf and reasonably expect to be able to create very good, colour accurate prints within minutes of unpacking and plugging in their equipment.
We define an ‘archive-quality’ image as one which provides the end-user with an image from which a very high quality, colour accurate surrogate can be made at full size without reference to the original (in case of deterioration or loss). This means that the image must contain all the information necessary for later evaluation and reproduction, and must be stored in a format that ensures no loss of data. Our minimum specification for ‘archive quality’ is 400 dpi at real size. Ideally we aim to obtain higher resolution wherever possible. We will always capture images at the the highest resolution available to our equipment.
Surprisingly, many commercial businesses and institutions offering digital imaging are producing extremely poor-quality images, and this can be due to any number of factors, from simple cost-cutting, through ignorance, to the inability to evaluate an image for quality output.
DIAMM expertise is available to new and existing projects to share the benefit of our experience, and ensure that high-end digital imaging work produces the superb quality pictures that it is capable of.
- Training and education in imaging basics: understanding file formats; file compression; technical terms; image storage basics; colour calibration etc;
- Evaluation of needs for projects proposing to use digital images;
- Advice for ordering archive-quality digital images from a third party supplier (how to ensure you write your order specifications so that you get images that meet your requirements);
- Independent image evaluation and QA for end-users employing commercial companies to supply their imaging needs, or projects purchasing images from other organisations;
- Training in digital image QA;
- Collection evaluation and equipment purchasing advice for new digitization departments;
- Licensing and copyright advice and support for buying or selling images;
- Training in equipment use and imaging workflow.
DIAMM has worked closely with King’s Digital Consultancy Services (KDCS) at King’s College London, who offer guidance on every aspect of setting up and managing digital projects, from collection evalutation onwards.
Consultancy is normally offered on a daily rate (plus travel and subsistence). Please enquire about rates and a quotation from the Project Manager.
If you would like to enquire further about your requirements, or about a project that you are planning, please contact the Project Manager, Julia Craig-McFeely.