LONTAD: Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives

In designing the LONTAD project, the project team decided to perform all scanning on-site at the UNOG Library. This has the benefit of reducing the risk of loss or damage to materials during transportation, facilitating the correction of errors and addressing the many questions that can arise during the scanning of such a large and complex collection, and, very importantly, allowing the minimal disruption possible to the traditional, in-person archival reference services available at the Library.

LONTAD Digitization Room

In order to achieve the scanning objectives, UNOG Library worked with our scanning service provider, Arkhênum SAS, to convert the Library’s former book bindery workshop into a state-of-the-art digitization studio. Arkhênum has installed seven i2S CopiBook Open System scanners to perform the bulk of the necessary scanning.

These scanners are specifically designed for the digitization of heritage materials, using an overhead camera configuration with an adjustable cradle to reduce wear on the original materials while rapidly providing high resolution images. Large format scanners will be installed at a later date to scan oversized materials, such as the large map collection, that are part of the project.

In addition, the service provider has installed sufficient IT infrastructure to handle the storage of the files in process and during quality control, with sufficient capacity to perform multiple format conversions as well as Optical Character Recognition processing (OCR). Current on site storage can handle up to 100 TB of data.


Document about to be Digitized

Deliveries are made every two weeks via RDX cassette, and consist of two image file formats, along with a CSV file containing technical metadata and checksums for the images to permit the detection of data errors and integrity. The image file formats provide are: a single-page master file (JPEG-2000, 300ppi, 24-bit color), as well as a multipage access file in PDF format, which has also been processed with OCR. Deliveries typically consist of over well over 150,000 page views.