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Digital Production Services

Digital Production Services (DPS) is responsible for digitization of materials in support of scholarship, research, and teaching, as well as metadata production and consulting services for Library and academic units undertaking digital projects.

DPS work ranges from projects designed in collaboration with Brown researchers and the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship to the digitization of “signature collections” from Brown’s world-renowned Special Collections. DPS also offers imaging and metadata consulting for grants and other University initiatives.

DPS Staff
  • Ann Caldwell, Department Head
  • Lindsay Elgin, Digital Photographer
  • Robin Wheelwright Ness, Digital Production Specialist
  • Ben Tyler, Digital Imaging Specialist
DPS Department Blog


Rights & Reproductions
  • Digitization

    Digital imaging technology has become ubiquitous, but in order to achieve high quality image capture and reproduction DPS adheres to imaging best practices established by the cultural heritage and library communities at large. In addition to the image capture stage, color management workflows and principles are also important to implement in relation to viewing conditions (display environments and monitors) and printing (output devices and materials; DPS does not offer printing services).

    Handling guidelines provide instruction on the proper handling of archival and special collections materials during digitization, and are modified for specific projects based on the materials being digitized and their condition. Review of the condition of the materials takes place prior to the beginning of a digitization project and is done in consultation with Preservation staff. Special care is taken with fragile, rolled, or oversize materials.

    The various tasks performed by Digital Production Services are tracked by an in-house project management system. From the creation of a digital surrogate entry to the publication of its METS record, the system also records user permissions, equipment and software registration, and provides links directly into the Brown Digital Repository (BDR). Security is integrated with a campus-wide authentication system.   [top]

    Recommended Image Formats
      File Format Color Space Resolution
    “Master” (archival) file 8-bit uncompressed TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) Adobe RGB For images: 600 ppi (min.) at actual size; for text: 300 ppi (min.) at actual size.
    Web-based display files JPEG and JPEG2000 sRGB JPEG: assorted thumbnail sizes; JPEG2000: varies per view, up to max resolution of “master” file.


    DPS Imaging Equipment & Software
      Use Cases Hardware Software
    Flatbed scanning For flat, printed materials and photographs Epson Expression 1640XL and 10000XL SilverFast v6.4 and v8 (via Adobe Photoshop import plugin)
    Negative scanning Slides and 4x5 transparencies Nikon Coolscan 5000 (slides); transparency adaptors for Epson Expression 10000XL & 1640XL (4x5 transparencies) Nikon Scan, Epson Scan
    Reprographic cameras For oversize materials and materials requiring special handling (e.g., book cradles) PowerPhase FX+ scanback with Schneider Apo-Digitar 120mm lens; Leaf Aptus-II 12 digital back with Schneider Apo-Digitar 72mm lens Phase One 3.6 (Mac OS 9), Capture One (Mac OS X)
    Portable digital cameras For shots of 3D or in-situ objects/artifacts (also used for events photography) Leaf Aptus-II 12 digital back with Mamiya/Phase One 645 camera & 80mm lens; Canon 5D Mark II with assorted lenses Capture One, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom


    Imaging Targets, Calibration/Profiling Software, & Recommended References

    Imaging Targets (color swatch and scale references):

    • X-Rite ColorChecker cards
    • Kodak Color Card
    • Image Science Associates targets

    Calibration/Profiling software:

    • ProfileMaker & i1Profiler (monitors)
    • SilverFast IT8 profiling feature + X-Rite neutral gray reference (flatbeds)

    Recommended References:


  • Metadata

    Metadata provides information about a particular object or resource. This may include descriptive information, information about how an object or resource is formatted, and who may access it. Metadata may be generated automatically or constructed by hand. It is usually constructed in the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), and, in DPS, is created according to certain national and international standards described elsewhere.

    Services We Offer

    Metadata consulting

    • User needs and functionality assessment
    • Metadata schema evaluation and recommendation
    • Vocabulary recommendation
    • Workflow planning

    Metadata application

    • Metadata generation and editing
    • Authority control
    • Indexing and subject access


    • Introduction to metadata and schema
    • Training in specific metadata schema
    • Train the trainer


    Types of Metadata
    Descriptive metadata Descriptive metadata identifies a resource for identification and discovery. Elements such as author and title are examples of descriptive metadata.
    Administrative metadata Administrative metadata contains information to assist in managing a resource. This would include information about who created the file and when.
    Technical metadata Technical metadata describes how a resource was created, its format, and other technical information that enables the object to be delivered correctly.
    Structural metadata Structural metadata provides information on how an object is constructed, for instance, the order of pages in a book. It documents the relationship of individual files in a multi-file object whether it be images, audio or video.
    Preservation metadata Preservation metadata enables files to be usable over long periods of time. It records actions taken on files, processing history, and technical characteristics.
    Rights metadata Rights metadata records who owns the rights to an object, as well as other information such as copyright status, licensing information, permissions, and other information related to use of the object.


    Standards & Guidelines
      * = used by Digitial Production Services
    Descriptive metadata structure standards * Metadata Object Descriptive Schema
    Dublin Core
    Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core
    * MARC 21 Bibliographic
    * MARC 21 XML
    Descriptive metadata content standards Resource Description and Access
    * Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd Edition
    * Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
    Cataloging Cultural Objects
    Authority Data Standards * Metadata Authority Data Schema
    * MARC 21 Format for Authority Data
    Encoded Archival Context – Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families
    Technical Metadata Standards * Metadata for Images in XML (MIX)
    Audio Object XML Schema: AES57-2011 (Audio Engineering Society)
    Core Audio Metadata XML Schema: AES 60-2011 (Audio Engineering Society)
    * AudioMD (Library of Congress)
    * VideoMD (Library of Congress)
    Preservation Metadata Standards PREMIS
    Rights Metadata Standards * METSRights
    Other * Metadata Encoding Transmission Standard
    Markup Languages * Text Encoding Initiative
    * Encoded Archival Description


  • Contact


    Brown University Library, Digital Production Services
    Brown University
    Box A, 10 Prospect Street
    Providence, RI 02912
    United States

  • Rights & Reproductions

    Requests for Digital Reproductions

    Items digitized by Digital Production Services may be made available for download, although the permissions and approval process is handled by John Hay Library staff, or by the curator or project lead for the collection or project to which the items belong. For items digitized from John Hay Library Special Collections, all requests for reproduction must be submitted on the appropriate form in hardcopy with an original signature. There are separate request forms for Manuscript, Non-Manuscript (e.g., printed materials) and Digital Reproduction. These forms have been posted in PDF format on the Hay Library website:

    Please use the Request for Digital Imaging form when requesting digital images, regardless of the format of the original material being reproduced.

    Requesting Permission to Publish

    For items digitized from John Hay Library Special Collections, all requests for permission to publish must be submitted in hardcopy on the form provided by the Hay Library and showing an original signature. The Application for Permission to Publish Special Collections Material form has been posted in PDF format on the Hay Library website:

    Completed application forms for reproduction requests and for permission to publish should be mailed to:

    Curator, [Collection containing item(s) being requested]
    Box A, John Hay Library
    Brown University
    Providence, Rhode Island 02912

    Please allow one month for processing time.

    Please note that the John Hay Library does not accept requests for reproduction or permission to publish via fax or email.

Outside Services