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Building the Digital Collection


The purpose of the project was to make accessible historically significant Civil War documents of Robert Huston Milroy, a resident of Rensselaer, Indiana, who formed and led the Volunteer G Company of the 9th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry, later attained the rank of Major General, and served the Union Army meritoriously in several battles.

The project is intended to benefit scholars, students, and others by making available vivid first hand accounts of military events during the Civil War and details of home life in Jasper County, Indiana during that period.

The transcription and keying of the 719 manuscripts into Word documents was accomplished by volunteers, with editing and organizing of the manuscripts by staff at Jasper County Public Library. The manuscripts were delivered to Indiana University for scanning.

Indiana University scanned the manuscripts using the following standards: the master files are 24bit, imbedded Adobe RGB1998, 400 dpi, 100% size, scanned on Epson 10000XL scanners, uncompressed TIFFS, interleaved pixel order, byte order: IBM PC. They also created duplicate sets of DVDs for storage of TIFF files.

A photographer from Purdue University was hired to photograph Milroy documents belonging to the Jasper County Historical Society, using the standards: TIFF format, no compression, minimum effective pixel resolution of 300x2000 (not interpolated), a resolving dynamic range of at least 7 stops, white balanced in the camera, little to no image manipulation in a program such as Photoshop and no cropping.

JCPL staff purchased an HP ProLiant ML350 server with 2G RAM, an Intel Xeon processor, three 72.8G hard drives, and an HP Ultrium 215 tape backup drive. In addition to 10 backup tapes and 1 cleaning tape, Computer Associates BrightStor ARCServe v.11 backup software was purchased to allow for nightly backups of the server.

The Milroy papers dealing with the Civil War, with the exception of records of the Court of Inquiry, which were available elsewhere on the Internet, were digitized into text files and scanned into TIFF and JPEG files. Using the software CONTENTdm, an online searchable database of 2527 pages of manuscripts, broadsides, maps, photographs, and certificates of historically significant Civil War documents from the papers of General Milroy has been created.