American Memory:   Technical summary



Theater Playbills and Programs

Sound Recordings

Motion Pictures

English Playscripts

Yiddish Playscripts


Collection Overview

Multiformat collection of selected materials from the popular stage and allied arts. Photographs and memorabilia of Houdini; English playscripts; Yiddish playscripts; a selection of playbills and program books; motion pictures; and sound recordings.
Source collection
Technical features
Opportunity to convert texts of challenging typed and handwritten playscripts in English and multiple forms of Yiddish orthography to searchable form (and translate from Yiddish to English); opportunity to develop tools for searching for playbills and program books now reproduced as image-only sets; collection also includes pictorial items, motion pictures, and a small amount of audio.
Original material formats
Number of original items
Status of collection
Available online as of November 1997.
Public access:
The Library is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection or any other restrictions in the materials in the Variety Stage Collection, however there may be content protected as "works for hire" (copyright may be held by the party that commissioned the original work) and/or under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. See notes on rights and restrictions provided by the Library to users of this collection.

Aids to intellectual access

Type & granularity
MARC bibliographic records for all items except for the 10 sound recordings, for which brief descriptive information is available on a menu in HTML . Each bib. record describes a single item.
Sample bibliographic display in American Memory.
Linking to digital reproductions
Bibliographic record or menu contains identifier used in names for directory (for documents) or files (for other formats). Numbering system and page-turning dataset in place to sequence and present page images for documents. Motion pictures longer than four minutes are divided into segments (with filenames ending in s1, s2, etc.).

Digital reproductions

Total file-space for digital reproductions: 3 Gbytes

Types of material: [Documents][Images][Motion pictures][Sound recordings]

Documents Archival page images (printing quality) Service page images (page-turning)
Marker Filename repeats identifier followed by two digits for page number with extension ".tif" Filename repeats identifier followed by two digits for page number with extension ".gif"
Formats TIFF Group IV GIF
Tonal resolution 1 bit 4 bit
Spatial resolution
300 dpi 50 dpi
Quantity (approx) 15,554 pages 15,554 pages
File size 20-50 Kbytes 10-40 Kbytes
Samples Sample printing Sample page-turning

Archival image Service image Inline thumbnail Additional thumbnail
Marker Filename ends "u" Filename ends "r" Filename ends "t" Filename ends "t"
Formats TIFF uncompressed JPEG/JFIF GIF TIFF
Tonal resolution (color) 24 bit 24 bit 8 bit 8 bit
Tonal resolution (grayscale) 8 bit 8 bit 8 bit 8 bit
Spatial resolution
1000x700 pixels 1000x700 pixels 100x150 pixels 100x150 pixels
Quantity (approx) 143 143 143 143
File size (color) 5-7 Mbytes 50-130 Kbytes 15-18 Kbytes 25-35 Kbytes
File size (grayscale) 140-200 Kbytes 20-35 Kbytes 15-20 Kbytes 20 Kbytes
Sample Sample archival Sample service Sample thumbnail Sample thumbnail

Motion Pictures Service file Service file Inline thumbnail
(still image)
Marker Filename extension ".mpg" Filename extension ".mov" Filename ends "t"
Formats MPEG-1 QuickTime GIF
Data rate ca. 1.2 Mbits/sec ca. 640 Kbits/sec 8 bit
Image size 320x240 pixels 160x120 pixels 300x100 pixels
Frame rate 30 fps 10-15 fps n/a
Color depth n/a 24 bits 8 bits
File size 6-31 Mbytes 3-18 Mbytes 90 Kbytes
Quantity 69 69 61
Sample Sample MPEG Sample QuickTime Sample thumbnail

Sound Recordings Service audio Service audio
Marker Filename extensions ".ram" and ".ra" Filename extension ".wav"
Formats RealAudio WAVE
Sample rate n/a 22.05 kHz
Word length n/a 16 bit
Channels mono mono
Modem setting 14.4 Kbps n/a
File size 200-271 Kbytes (.ra)
1 Kbyte (.ram -- for RealAudio metadata)
9-12 Mbytes
Quantity 10 10
Sample Sample RealAudio Sample WAV

Library of Congress contribution to Digital Libraries Initiative - Phase II [Site Map]
Collections available: [List] [Rights] [Samples] [Handover]
Technical notes: [Documents] [Images] [Maps] [Sound recordings] [Motion pictures]