Technical Tips

The following information will help you get started using digital images from Scholars Resource. It is important to recognize that each institution’s technology environment is unique and you will need to take into account differences in resources and how the digital images will be used.

Image Quality

Viewing quality is affected by the hardware on which the images are viewed. Monitors, projectors, screens, and video cards can dramatically affect the viewing quality of the image. The capabilities of the computer ( i.e. RAM and processor speed), as well as the network architecture, determine the speed with which larger images are displayed.

Viewing Software and Hardware

Digital images can be viewed with any browser or software that will open image files. While large numbers of images are easier to manage in a database, images can also be shown in a web environment using simple HTML. Scholars Resource's digital images are platform independent, and will work well on Macintosh, Windows and UNIX systems. The most important hardware considerations are (1) the server space required to house the delivery images and (2) the size, resolution and quality of the display screen (monitor) or data projector.

Image File Sizes

Images are provided in a variety of formats. Images are supplied as high quality JPEG compressed files in full 24-bit color. Images are stored in four separate resolutions on the same CD-ROM:

Largest delivery JPEG: 2048×3072, ca. 2MB
Full-screen: 1024×768 pixels, ca. 800KB
Course support study size: 512×768 pixels, ca. 200KB
Thumbnail size: 128×192 pixels, ca. 20KB

TIFF (archival/storage) files are approximately 18MB each.

Larger high-resolution images are ideally suited for detailed individual study or in-class projection; screen-size images are for general use where speed of transmission is important, or viewing hardware is not as advanced; and thumbnail size images are for easy integration into image or slide management databases and course support software.

Catalog Information

Thumbnail images and catalog information are provided for each digital image in order to facilitate the management of the images in your own database. Catalog information includes (but is not limited to) the title, artist or culture, date, classification, materials, dimensions (when available), and collection or location information data. At this point in time we usually supply flattened data in spreadsheet (Excel) form to our clients and from there we work with each customer to help them adapt that data both to the requirements of the software that they use (to import the data) and also to map to the local data set they have developed. We can map the data to all the major data standards (MARC, Dublin Core, VRA Core 3.0 or 4.0) as well as advise on locally developed fields. We can also supply data in XML as requested. For more information about importing to specific software, please see Collaborations with Software Providers.

How to Project Images in a Classroom

Projecting images in the classroom will hinge on both available hardware and software. At the most basic end of the spectrum, a computer equipped with some display software such as PowerPoint or Keynote and a data projector is required. There is also other free or open-source organizing/viewing software available. Some more sophisticated programs will require internet connectivity as well. The software will dictate how the different size images are used and shown, and some software can present large image files with “zoom” capability. Equipping “smart” classrooms is a major institutional concern and there are a range of solutions which address the concerns of costs, quality and the requirements of the physical classroom space.

General Projection Guidelines

Scholars Resource digital images are provided in four resolutions: the largest delivery JPEG (2048×3072 pixels), full-screen, course support study size and thumbnails. The resolution, and hence the quality, of the image users will perceive depends on the hardware on which it is viewed or projected.

Display Mode Resolution (pixels)
VGA 640 x 480
SVGA 800 x 600
XGA 1024 x 768
SXGA 1280 x 1024
UXGA 1600 x 1200

Color Calibration

At this time you cannot control the color calibration of every monitor or data projector. It is important to calibrate monitors which you use for your local image processing. Scholars Resource images have already been professionally color-corrected on calibrated monitors. Calibration devices (colorimeters) and software can be purchased for local use; one such vendor is Pantone ( Data projectors will also inevitably display a color shift; you should ideally test several models and brands with your own images in the classroom space where they will be used. The Eye-One Beamer from GretagMacbeth is a device that can calibrate data projectors as well as monitors.