The Aaron Copland Collection ca. 1900-1990

Building the Digital Collection

The online Aaron Copland Collection was scanned from a variety of original sources. Musical sketches were scanned from stock music manuscript and ozalid (transparent) papers in various combinations with graphite and colored pencil and ink. Photographic sources include black-and-white prints, color prints, and color transparencies. The writings and correspondence were scanned from paper in typescript and handwritten ink and pencil. In addition, many items of correspondence were scanned from photocopies.

Scanning was done on site at the Library of Congress by two teams. The musical sketches and photographs were digitized by the Library of Congress Information Technology Services scanning team using a Phase One PowerPhase overhead satellite digital camera with a Rodenstock Rodagon 80-mm APO lens and Phase One 3.1.1 scanning software. Writings and correspondence were scanned by the National Digital Library Program (NDLP) paper-scanning contractor, Systems Integration Group (SIG) of Lanham, Maryland, using a UMAX Mirage IISE flatbed scanner and UMAX Magic Scan software.


Black-and-white photographic prints were scanned as grayscale, with a tonal depth of 8 bits-per-pixel, at 300 dpi. Nearly all other items were scanned in color, 24 bits-per-pixel, at 300 dpi. NDLP took delivery of uncompressed TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) images and created three service images for the photographs and two for all other items, as follows:


Thumbnail Image: GIF (Graphic Interchange Format), compression
Basic Compressed Image: JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF), average compression ratio 15:1.
Larger Compressed Image: JPEG, average compression ratio 8:1.

Musical sketches:

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

Writings and correspondence:

Thumbnail Image: GIF, compression ratio native to GIF format.
Compressed Service Image: JPEG, average compression ratio 15:1