Prior to Scanning

The first step of our scanning process was to first look through all scrapbook materials. These materials were split into six different boxes, primarily according to owner. Because time would not allow us to scan all of the material, we looked through each scrapbook to decide what would prove to be most interesting on the website. Here is some of the criteria that we used:

  • Relevance: Many materials in the scrapbooks, such as travel brochures, were not specific to any one individual. As such, we did not include a great deal of these scans.
  • Clarity: We ensured that the scans included on the website are clear in appearance and narrative.
  • Context: Each of the scans on this website includes a description that explains both the photograph itself, as well as the context in which it was taken.

The goal of this website was to showcase the diverse and plentiful history of select women in the Rowe family. We hope that the included galleries and narratives do this justice.

Keeping Track of Materials: Our Master List

While browsing through each scrapbook, each member of our group would mark pages that we wished to scan with a sheet of acid-free paper, as per Special Collections requirements. From there, we marked each photo in a Master Spreadsheet that included as much information as possible about each photo. You can view a modified copy of our Master List by clicking here.

Scanning the Materials

Finally, it was time for our group to scan. Each material was scanned in the University of Mary Washington’s Digital Archiving Lab on either a preservation-grade Cobra Rare Books scanner or on a flatbed scanner. The Cobra Rare Books scanner was used for delicate scrapbooks, whereas the flatbed scanner was used for flat images in good condition, such as polaroids.

The entire scanning process took roughly a week to complete. Photographs were saved locally to computers in the Digital Archiving Lab, and subsequently transferred to a variety of thumb drives. At this point, photographs were duplicated in order for us to make preservation-grade .tiffs as well as smaller, display-appropriate .pngs. You can find the .tiffs in a downloadable zip file, and the .pngs as displayed in each family member’s gallery.

Uploading Completed Scans

Finally, we were ready to upload scanned photographs to the website. This process took roughly two weeks. After uploading photographs, each photograph was given a caption based on the information included in our aforementioned Master List, and finally organized into display page galleries.

Captioning Process Explained

After uploading our scans, we needed to give each scan a caption and description. These are what you see on each photo in their gallery. To caption photos, we came up with a uniform process based on identifying information for the photo. Here is an explanation of our process:

  • Alt-Text: Alt-text describes what a image is, such as “black and white portrait.”
  • Title: Each photo is titled in the following format: “[Owner’s Name], [Scrapbook Name]
    • Note: Some scrapbooks did not have an apparent title, so our group has titled them based on appearance, such as “Green fleur-de-lis.”
  • Caption: Each photo is captioned in the following format: “[Scrapbook Artifact Name], [Scrapbook Box Number], [Year or estimated year], [Owner], [Text from image summary]
    • Note: “Scrapbook Box Number” refers to the literal, physical box that we received the scrapbooks in. In total, we received six boxes to work with. Not all materials from all boxes were used. This is primarily an organizational reference.
  • Description: The description is a detailed explanation of what is included in the photo, both visually and text-based. This is also aides individuals who may have visual impairments.