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Nursery and Seed Catalog Digital Library Initiative

Proposal from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library to the Institute for Museum and Library Services

Summary The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library seeks $152,200 in support of converting its collection of mid to late 19th and early 20th century nursery and seed catalogs to digital form and making this collection available online. The purpose of this collection is twofold: a.) to bring attention to the value of nursery and seed catalogs historically and botanically and b.) to begin the process of digitizing the entire collection of rare and priceless items. Currently, there are only two staff members for the library, and temporary staff and a Digital Archivist would enable the library to not only complete this project but also to begin the process of digitizing its other rare and fragile materials. This digital project would be a great addition to the museum collection, as many of the items in the librarys catalogue are one of a kind and not available online for viewing anywhere. It also keeps in line with the museums mission of uniting art and nature in one experience. The digital project would also bring attention to the library itselfbecause it would be the first of its kindand how it is open for public access, a rarity amongst museum libraries. We anticipate that this project will take a maximum of two years to complete and will require the hiring of temporary staff and a Digital Archivist. The technology purchased would be used for the start and continuation of other projects, as well. Ultimately, the library wishes to digitize the entire rare items collection for everyone to have access to and feels that starting with the smallest subsection of the rare items collection would be the best start. Background 19th century nursery and seed catalogs were used to equip salesmen with a way to sell their goods when going door to door. The fact that these catalogs were printed in color was rather uncommon for the times. The color lithographs helped salesmen sell their products, as they would be selling a variety of fruit and flower plants and needed accurate depictions to showcase their products. The catalogs were also intricately folded and bound, not only to protect the color plates, but also to showcase the items for sale in a manner that highlighted each product separately. They were usually bound and printed 1

individually for each separate company, and the salesmen were encouraged to maintain their books in the best conditions. One reason was because they were often on the road for long periods of time and these catalogs were not easily replaced quickly. The other was because the costs of which would be removed from their salaries. This preservation enforcement helped many of these catalogs survive into modern times. While they are an unusual item in any librarys collection, nursery and seed catalogs should be showcased. They document the history of the horticultural trade and provide a look at advertising and printing trends as well. They also document the introduction of plants into the trade, through discovery, importation, or hybridization. The date range of the catalog collection at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library goes from the latter half of the 19th century into the early 20th century, and approximately 70 years of publishing history is contained in this collection. The catalogs provide an overview of horticultural history during this timeframe; many trends developed and are showcased by the types of color lithographs that are included in the collection. For instance, Japanese plants became popular items in the 1860s, around the time that the United States began to become involved in the modernization of Japan. It is also important to note the differences between products in one of the catalogs for the Chase Nursery Companylocated in Alabamaand one of the catalogs for the North Jersey Nurseries. In the South, catalogs contained items such as peaches, persimmons, pomegranates, and a variety of tropical or fruit bearing flora, whereas the New England catalogs contained items such as apples, evergreen trees, and leafy plants. This horticultural history is rarely documented in other forms, and thus, these nursery and seed catalogs are an important addition to our nations botanical and environmental history. Despite their importance, there are few digital collections of these catalogs online, none of which offer the entire catalogs for viewing. The three sites that offer some page viewings are the University of Delaware, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and the Oregon State Library. These collections offer a limited selection of a few pages or just the covers of the books. Images are grainy, at best, and as of this date, there are no complete catalogs available for viewing online. By publishing their complete collection digitally, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library would be attempting the first of its kind. Scholars would have access to a large selection of catalogs no matter where they were located in the world. The library would be able to share its collection with a broader audience, and both the library and museum would only benefit from this added attention. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded in 2005 by Alice Walton; it takes its name from nearby Crystal Spring and was designed by architect Moshe Safdie. The museum is also surrounded by 120 acres of forests and gardens with six pedestrian and multi-use trails which wind through the campus. The mission of the museum, as stated on the website, is: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcomes all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape. We explore the unfolding story

of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library is housed inside the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, located in Bentonville, Arkansas. There are more than 50,000 items on over 3,000 linear feet. Over 20,000 items were acquired as a collection in 2005; these are mostly American art reference books, museum bulletins, periodicals, ephemera, pamphlets and manuscripts. In 2006, another 22,000 items were acquired and consisted of American architecture, decorative arts, art technique, European, Asian, Australian, Canadian, classical, African, Latin American, Middle Easter, and Russian art and photography. More than 1,000 nineteenth-century American color plate books in various genres including nursery and seed catalogsare located in the collection. 12,000 additional items, such as artists books, vertical files, institutional files, general ephemera, monographs, and exhibition catalogs were also acquired during the 6 year planning stages of the museum. Approximately one third of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library catalog is rare or fragile books and not made available to the public. The nursery and seed catalog collection in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library consists of 17 items, ranging in publication date from 1867 to 1907. Items have previously been catalogued and records are made available through a shared database with the University of Arkansas, and they are available on Worldcat. MARC 21, OCLCs Connexion Client, AACR2, and LCRI were used to catalog the items. The further details of the collection can be seen in Appendix A. Staff Catherine Petersen, Library Director for Crystal Bridges, will oversee the project and be a major part of the selection process for the Digital Archivist position. Jason Dean, Cataloger & Technical Services Librarian for Crystal Bridges, has already catalogued and written the items metadata and will assist in the dissemination of said information. A Digital Archivist will be hired with a salary of $45,000 per year to train temporary staff, ensure that items are correctly scanned and indexed, and to set up, curate, and maintain the digital collection. This member of the staff will be retained for the duration of the project. Two temporary workers will be hired part time (15 hours per week) at an hourly rate of $10 per hour for approximately six months. They will be hired to scan the collection in the initial phases of the project. One intern will be employed to make the Encoded Archival Descriptions and will be under the supervision of the Digital Archivist. Intern will not be paid. Technology and Digital Standards

Currently, the library houses one scanner, a Plustek Optipro A 320, which is sufficient for daily use, but not for the mass scanning process that a digitization project would entail. Therefore, we propose the purchase of an ATIZ BookDrive Pro, the breakdown of costs of which are listed in Appendix B. This scanner was chosen for the following reasons: 1. Use of V Cradle, can hold items up to A2 size: This is needed for optimum digitization and preservation methods. Many of the items in the collection are oddly shaped or fragile and a flatbed scanner would only result in poorer images and potential damage to the catalogs. 2. Camera support: The BookDrive Pro supports any Canon DSLR camera; thus, the scanner can easily be updated and maintained despite advances in technology. 3. Scanning process: The BookDrive Pro can scan up to 700 pages per hour and also produces flat images that have no need for page curvature correction. The scanner also has a glare-free lighting system (through the use of LED lights), so that the images can be easily produced in the most efficient manner. 4. Software: The software included with the BookDrive Pro (BookDrive Capture and BookDrive Editor Pro) will encourage a smoother process; the programs are easy to use and have multiple functions. BookDrive Capture includes fast shooting, in-software camera settings, timed lapse capture, and an easy insert function that facilitates a more efficient process, amongst other things. BookDrive Editor Pro has fast batch processing, book profiling, background removal, and multi-book, multi-chapter operation. Items can be processed all at once, which would enable the staff to upload one full catalog at a time, rather than several images that would later have to be organized. All images will be scanned in at a 300 dpi scale and in TIF format, as this allows for the possibility of later conversion to newer formats and makes sure that the library will be a lasting entity. This will enable the images to be kept at a small file size but offer users a great image to look at. Because there are no other complete collections of nursery and seed catalogs available online, the process for this project will set a precedent for others to come in the future. Process Once a Digital Archivist has been hired, he/she will begin to train the part-time staff and/or interns to do the scanning. After all employees have been adequately trained in the scanning process, the collection will be scanned into the database with the Digital Archivist supervising the process. Scanning the collection will require the staff to scan each book carefully with the BookDrive Pro. Some of the items are extremely fragile and will need extra care when scanning. Others are unusually bound and will be more difficult to scan. The Digital Archivist will make the decision on how best to scan said items and will disseminate this information to the part time staff. Once 4

the documents have been scanned, the staff will edit and crop the images to the best quality. They will ensure that all images are not only maintained in a database locally, but ready to be uploaded when the time comes. Because the collection has been catalogued previously by Jason Dean and therefore, does not need to be catalogued again, the Digital Archivist will work with Jason to ensure that the collection is translated correctly into its digital format. After that has been completed, the upload to the server will occur and the Digital Archivist will begin the design of the website. Once the website is completed, a review will be done first by the Digital Archivist and then by the Library Director, Catherine Petersen. After it has been approved by both parties, Catherine will present it to the museum for review and approval of publication. Once that has been issued, the library will publish the finished site.

Timeline
Jan 2013 Hire Digital Archivist and parttime staff and begin training Feb Begin scanning process Mar Continuation of scanning process April May June July Review & catalog of collection by Digital Archivist Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

Upload Digital to server cataloguing & and website begin building design of website Presentation of website to museum for review Publication of finished site.

2014

Review of digital collection and website by Digital Archivist

Review of digital collection and website by Library Director

Ideally, the project will take a shorter amount of time then has been allocated, as many of the steps can be done simultaneously. However, the library will also be in the process of many other tasks, and so two years was allotted to ensure the project was completed in the most efficient manner. Conclusion The proposed project would not only benefit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its Library, but would also benefit the larger historical and botanical society, as a whole. No other digital library of its kind exists, and by publishing its collection of nursery and seed catalogs, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Library will only be furthering the study of these items. Offering these catalogs in a digital format would also help bring a bigger audience to both the museum and the library, and the money requested will only help the library increase its available selection for patrons, by giving them the necessary staff and equipment to do so.

Appendix A Title Pagination

Nursery specimen book for North Jersey Nurseries

62 chromolithographic plates, 10 plates with mechanical color, 12 mixed-process plates, and 1 page of text. 72 leaves, printed on rectos only. 34 chromolithographic plates, 38 plates with mechanical color. 51 chromolithographic plates, 19 plates with mechanical color.

Nursery specimen book for Randolph Nurseries Nursery specimen book for Nelson Bogue Batavia Nurseries

Nursery specimen book for Central New York Nurseries

48 chromolithographic plates, 19 plates with mechanical color, and 6 multi-process plates.

Nursery specimen book (Chase Brothers Company)

[2]pp. plus 62 chromolithographic plates, 63 uncolored relief halftone plates, and 8 trichromatic halftone plates.

Nursery specimen book for I.S. Covell

70 leaves including 67 color plates (1 folding), 11 of them chromolithograph, and 56 pouchoir. Price list tipped in.

Nursery specimen book for I.S. Covell Nursery specimen book

98 leaves including 93 plates (83 pouchoir, 1 of them folding; and 10 chromolithographs) and 1 photograph. 95 chromolithographic plates.

Nursery specimen sample book

59 leaves, including 2 photographs and 53 color plates (8 chromolithographs and 45 pouchoir).

Illustrated descriptive catalogue of fruit and ornamental trees, grape vines, small fruits, plants

Title-leaf plus 32 hand-colored plates, 2 color engraved plates, and 5 uncolored plates. [3]pp. plus 96 chromolithographic plates, 2 uncolored relief halftones, and 1 landscape plan.

Brown book of choice fruits, ornamentals, shrubs, perennials, roses and bulbs

Specimen book of fruits, flowers and ornamental trees (Chase Nursery Company)

146 plates, including many chromolithographs and many photomechanical. 136pp. plus four chromolithograph plates and fold-out order form. Numerous textual engravings. Lithographic title, 82 chromolithographic plates.

Seed annual, 1884 (D.M. Ferry & Co.) Nurseryman's specimen book (Dewey, D.M.)

The specimen book of fruits, flowers and ornamental trees : carefully drawn and colored from nature

Chromolithographic titlepage. [6]pp. plus 38 colored plates, 5 of them chromolithographic and 23 of them pouchoir; 80pp.

Descriptive plate-book : illustrations in natural colors

[1]p. plus 90 trichromatic halftone plates with text on verso and 3 uncolored halftone plates.

Appendix B Itemized Budget Plan Digital Archivist: The archivist would be hired on for the duration of the project, with a salary of $45,000 per year. Total: $90,000 Two temporary workers would be hired for one year at an hourly rate of $10 per hour. Neither worker would exceed 15 hours of work per week. Staff would be employed for a total period of 6 months. Total: $7,200 A 1 Terabyte server would be purchased for $1000. An ATIZ BookDrive Pro would be purchased for $24,000. This includes the following: Base package 90-day Warranty Camera set: 2 x Canon EOS T3i 2 x Lenses

Total: $16,711.85 Shipping for the above Total: $425 Extended two year warranty Total: $2,200.00 On-site Installation & Training Total: $3,700.00 Plastic cleaning kit & Additional Platen (with added shipping costs) Total: $890.00

Additional Maintenance costs for the project have been allocated $15,000 per year Total: $30,000

Sources All prices for the ATIZ BookDrive Pro were gained from this site: http://www.atiz.com/usstore/ Dean, J. (n.d.). Cataloging Nursery Catalogs: A Brief History and Guide. Scribd. Retrieved April 29, 2012, from http://www.scribd.com/jason_dean/d/71838689-Cataloging-Nursery-Catalogs-A-Brief-Historyand-Guide Hazen, D., Horrell, J., & 1998, J. M. (n.d.). Selecting Research Collections for Digitization-Full Report Council on Library and Information Resources. Welcome to CLIR Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved April 29, 2012, from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/hazen/reports/hazen/pub74.html Introduction to Imaging (Getty Research Institute). (n.d.). The Getty. Retrieved April 29, 2012, from http://www.getty.edu/research/publications/electronic_publications/introimages/index.html Koelling, J. M. (2004). Digital imaging: a practical approach. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press. Whittaker, B. M., & Thomas, L. M. (2009). Special collections 2.0. Santa Barbara (Calif.): Libraries unlimited.

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