With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, the University of Chicago Library has completed a project that preserves deteriorated research materials relating to the history, art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and the ancient Mediterranean world. Materials published between 1850 and 1950 were drawn from the Library's outstanding Ancient Near East and Classics Collections. The Library addressed the preservation and access needs of the collections using three options: microfilming of 2,420 volumes, rebinding and providing enclosures for 6,530 volumes and digitizing thirty-five volumes.
The goal of the digital component of this project was to address the issues of scanning and displaying bound volumes containing both text and line and/or halftone printed illustrations. The Library met this goal by capturing all page images with one pass as 8-bit grayscale, 300 dpi files. LZW compressed TIFF files were archived to CD. High resolution JPEG compressed files provide very large images for viewing small details on the Internet. Scaling software was used to create files that display at the screen size of most standard personal computers.