The Irving Fine Collection


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Building the Digital Collection

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The original sources in the Irving Fine Collection were photographic prints and contact prints. Scanning was done onsite by National Digital Library Program staff using an Agfa Horizon Ultra flatbed scanner with FotoLook SA 2.09.2 scanning software. Black-and-white and sepia prints were scanned as grayscale images with a tonal depth of 8 bits-per-pixel at 300 dpi. One color print was scanned as 24 bits-per-pixel at 300 dpi.

Many of the photographs were taken from scrapbooks and were faded, discolored, damaged, and/or had tape on them. Several items were cropped to eliminate as much visual evidence of tape as possible.

Compressed thumbnail and service images were created from uncompressed TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) masters. Specifications are:

  • Thumbnail and Reference Images: GIF (Graphic Interchange Format), compression native to GIF format.
  • Service Image: JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF), average compression ratio 15:1.


Sketches and manuscripts were scanned from a staff-lined notebook, stock music manuscript, and a manuscript score facsimile. Scanning was done onsite by Systems Integration Group (SIG) of Lanham, Maryland, using a UMAX Mirage IISE flatbed scanner and UMAX Magic Scan software. Items were scanned in color 24 bits-per-pixel at 300dpi. NDLP took delivery of uncompressed TIFF and compressed JPEG images. Thumbnail images were created from TIFF masters by NDLP. Specifications are:

  • Thumbnail Image: GIF, compression native to GIF format.
  • Service Image: JPEG, average compression ratio 30:1.

Sound Recording

The sound recording of the String Quartet was transferred from the original 10-inch 7.5 ips (inches per second) analog tape reel to digital audio tape (DAT) onsite by the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Laboratory. WaveForm (.wav) files were created from the DAT at a sampling rate of 44,100 Hz per second, 16-bit, and a single (mono) channel. The RealAudio (.ra) streaming files were derived from the Wave files through digital processing. MPEG2, Layer 3 (.mp3) files were derived from the Wave files using Sonic Foundry’s SoundForge software.

As the Quartet was taken from a live performance, some audience and stage noise may be audible.

Finding Aid

The finding aid for the Irving Fine Collection has been brought into conformity with the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Document Type Definition (DTD), a Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) standard for encoding finding aids.