Mike Adamo, Digital Production Developer, arrived at Duke just over five years ago. Mike graduated with a degree in Photography in 1993 after which he opened and operated a table-top advertising studio for three years in Atlanta Georgia. After that Mike worked in a stock photography studio as a black and white printer for four years. The studio switched from analog to digital photography while he was there so Mike learned about color calibration and color profiles, which was relatively new at the time. He came to Duke after working for four years as a supervisor of a digital imaging unit at a library automation software company in Virginia.
As a Digital Production Developer Mike assess Library collections for digitization, creates images for high end print projects, and designs workflows for digitization projects in the Digital Production Center. He is also responsible for calibrating and maintaining the various cameras and scanners that they use in their daily operations.
When asked about his favorite preservation project, Mike responded:
My favorite project over the years has been building the Digital Production Center. When I started on March 14, 2005, the Digital Production Center was located on Perkins lower level behind the copy room and was often used as a shortcut from the lower level to the RBMSCL. We had one Epson Expression 10000 and a BetterLight scanback fresh out of the box. The camera room had previously been a traditional wet darkroom. The sinks had been removed but some of the plumbing remained jutting out of the walls and though the tiles had been scrubbed clean the chemical stains from years past were still present.
The questions at the time were: What is a digital collection? How do we represent the physical item digitally? What metadata scheme should we use and how do we capture it? While from a distance these questions seem fairly simple and straight forward once we started building digital collections we had to apply the concepts of sustainability and scalability while being as transparent as possible. Easy… right?
Since then, we have moved 3 times and are now in our permanent space (I think). This space was specifically designed with the Digital Production Center in mind. Our air handler is HEPA filtered, the lighting is full spectrum, the monitors are color calibrated, the walls are 18% gray, the floor is cork and we have a large vault that we share with Conservation.
We added another flatbed scanner, a dedicated quality control station, a P65 Phase One R-Cam, a Zeutschel 14000 A2, a SAMMA Solo video encoder a high-end light table (for digitizing negatives on the Phase One), 2 FTE, additional students and a database to track production and collect technical metadata. In addition to all of this a few months ago we added a Scribe book scanner through the Internet Archive. Our production rates have gone from 4000 + digital images the first year to a projected 100,000 digital images this year and that doesn’t include the images created using the Scribe.
We have come a long way in a short time.
You can see some of the work that Mike and the DPC staff on the Digital Collections Blog.