Preservation Quality Digital Capture

Africa Media Online specialises in the digitisation of archival and museum collections and can meet exacting international standards for digital capture such as FADGI 4-Star and Metamorfoze Strict using equipment and software approved by the World’s leading heritage and scientific institutions. We also adhere to ethical practices in keeping with the care of irreplaceable heritage resources.

Digitisation Work Flows

Africa Media Online operates different workflows appropriate for the capture of various materials:

For the capture of 3-Dimensional objects we use a Phase One XF medium format camera with 100-megapixel digital back and a Schneider Kreuznach prime lens. Where appropriate we capture at multiple focus points to ensure an image that is fully in focus throughout the focus plane of the object and process images using Phase One’s specialist cultural heritage software, Capture One CH. Read more…

Fragile manuscripts demand special care and often it is not just the information on the page that is important but the manuscript too is an essential artefact in itself, freezing its condition at a particular point in time. For this we use the only Alpa 12 FPS camera in Africa with either a 50 or 100 Megapixel Phase One digital back, depending on the size of the original, and ultra sharp Rodenstock lenses together with Phase One’s Capture One CH software specifically designed for cultural heritage. Read more and more…

Getting the most out of archival photographic prints requires superior quality imaging. Using our Alpa 12 FPS technical camera with a Phase One medium format digital sensor and Rodenstock lenses or using our Phase One XF camera with a Schneider Kreuznach prime lens gives us the ability to capture the finest detail, even through the glass of framed prints. Read more…

We can work with all types of negatives and transparencies including film-based images of various kinds and sizes. For 35mm negatives and positives, we capture with a Canon 5DSR with an ultra-sharp Rodenstock lens. For medium format and larger, we use our Phase One IQ3 100 megapixel digital back on our Alpa 12 FPS technical camera. This equipment delivers images that replicate the full detail captured in the original film.

In keeping with our commitment to non-destructive digitisation of precious heritage objects, Africa Media Online has invested in equipment to digitise bound manuscripts, including large volumes, using non-destructive methods thus preserving irreplaceable historic manuscripts.

We specialise in archival collections that often comprise of multiple types of documents on many different types of paper e.g. a fragile letter, a facsimile, a double-sided multipage document and so on. The ‘Rolls Royce’ of form-feed scanners, the Inotec Scamax handles all but the most fragile papers up to A3 in size and we process these in Limb Processing. Unlike all other production scanners, it is belt-driven and therefore gentle on archival materials. Read more…

The digital capture of maps, plans and posters, particularly if they are archaic and fragile, requires special care. At times these present challenges when they have been folded or rolled and optimal capture requires special skill. For this work we have built a number of special rigs to enable capture at an optimal dpi to reproduce the finest significant detail using our Phase One medium format digital backs on our Alpa 12 FPS technical camera with Rodenstock lenses. These images are processed using Capture One CH, Phase One’s specialist software for cultural heritage application. Read more…

Paintings and 2-Dimentional artworks require exact colour replication and the capture of the finest detail. For this we utilise our Alpa 12 FPS camera with either a 50 or 100 Megapixel Phase One digital back, depending on the size of the original, and ultra sharp Rodenstock lenses together with Phase One’s Capture One CH software which is specifically designed for cultural heritage use. Even lighting with consistent colour temperature is critical in this application, particularly when tiling large artworks. We are use the World’s leading lighting system, Broncolor, to accomplish this. Read more…

Whether scientific specimens are floating in formalin or filling most of the room against a studio backdrop, we are able to capture the finest details using our Alpa 12 FPS technical camera with a Phase One medium format digital sensor and Rodenstock lenses or using our Phase One XF camera with a Schneider Kreuznach prime lens and illuminated by the World’s leading lighting system, Broncolor. Specimens such as flies and beetles are focus-stacked enabling full focus across the plane of the image. Read more…

Evolution of Archives

Examples of Digitisation

View some examples of digisation done for clients

Digitisation Principles

Africa Media Online’s core vision is ‘Africans telling Africa’s Story’ and fundamental to that is our commitment to ensure that ownership of our heritage stays in the hands of the custodians of that heritage. Even if the original object is out of copyright, we work hard to ensure that custodianship remains in your hands and of course, you are free to grant open access to that material should you see fit.

Our staff have extensive experience in handling irreplaceable archival material. Where projects are carried out at the Africa Media Online Digitisation Centre, before and after capture the originals are stored in a secure temperature controlled file room until they are safely returned to you. We are also able to carry out projects on site at your premises.

Copies of digitised files are delivered to our clients so that you always have a hard copy of the material thereby you are not totally dependent upon our Digital Repository.

If you give us the responsibility of hosting your digital repository, our highly secure MEMAT digital repository system controls access to the digital files. Only low resolution derivatives can be browsed and preservation or publishing quality files can only be accessed with your permission.

We have established a professional metadata service and draw on the Metadata for Africa community. Capturing an item in digital form is only half the job. The other half is accurate and reliable metadata. Many clients do not have the capacity for this work, so we are able to provide this service at a basic and advanced level.

There is the opportunity for digitised files to be represented to editorial publishing and broadcasting markets. This is an optional service and is only available if you have appropriate material. A representation agreement will need to be signed prior to Africa Media Online being prepared to represent select items from your collection.

Should you have any other concerns please don’t hesitate to contact David Larsen on editor@africamediaonline.com

Digitisation Quote Request

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