Our office is split between fans of modern Late Night programming like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and the Variety Hour shows of the 50’s and 60’s. As it turns out Vaudeville acts at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century are the grandfather of both. At the University of Iowa they are racing to digitize an incredibly important collection of scrapbooks that were created and maintained by Franklin Keith and Edward Franklin Albee, who together ran a series of Vaudeville production circuits. The scrapbooks themselves were in a dire physical state owed to their non-preservation materials (random glues, newspaper clippings, notes written on non archival media and transported around the country as they went). The University of Iowa Libraries blend together conservation and digitization under the same umbrella of preservation which allowed them to approach this project in a wholistic way. The original scrapbooks were put through various conservation treatments to stabilize their condition, and high-quality preservation-grade FADGI 4-star digitization was undertaken to capture them in their stabilized form, so that far fewer academics would need to physically handle the originals in order to use them as primary source research documents.
In this video we discuss the details of this project and the journey the University of Iowa took to select, acquire, and put to use DTDCH and Phase One hardware and software.