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Native Flora of Louisiana: Watercolor Drawings by Margaret Stones
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Aster Praeltus

About this Site

Building the Digital Collection

The collection was digitized using a Sinar 4:x5: large format camera equipped with a PhaseOne digital studio camera system back. Each drawing was digitized at a resolution of 600 dots per inch. The scanned images were created in RGB color mode and have an 8 bit image bit depth. For each image, digitization staff adjusted the contrast, brightness and when necessary, the color saturation using PhaseOne capturing software and Adobe PhotoShop. The guiding principle of the entire digitization process was to match the aesthetic properties of the original watercolor drawings as closely as possible.

Full resolution TIFF files were then imported into CONTENTdm Acquisition Stations. In CONTENTdm, the appropriate metadata were assigned to each image and the quality of each image checked. Using CONTENTdm, lower resolution thumbnail images were created and the TIFF files converted to high resolution compressed files in JPEG2000 format. Once the metadata and converted image files were reviewed by the project administrator, they were uploaded to the LOUISiana Digital Library collection site.

A Word about Metadata

To the extent possible, the project complies with the Dublin Core Metadata standard. In some instances, the Dublin Core field names were changed or additional metadata fields were added to more appropriately match the content of the collection. For example, the Dublin Core field “Title” was changed to “Common Name” to reflect the distinction between the common and scientific names of the botanicals depicted in the watercolor drawings. When field names were changed, the new field name was mapped to the Dublin Core standard fields so that the metadata could be incorporated into other applications such as union catalogs. In addition to searchable information fields relevant to the content and creation of the drawings themselves, administrative metadata about the digital project were also applied.

The metadata fields for the collection reflect the following information for each drawing: The common name, scientific name (species), and family names (English and Latin), date and location of collection of flower or fruit (models for the watercolor drawings), name of collector, artist, and detailed descriptions of plant characteristics. Other metadata fields include rights, drawing type, format, source, relation, object file name, identifier, publisher, language, and coverage-temporal. All of the metadata relevant to the flora depicted in the collection come from the book, Flora of Louisiana: Watercolor Drawings by Margaret Stones with descriptions by Lowell Urbatsch (LSU Press, 1991).


Many people contributed to this project. Gina Costello and Elaine Smyth supervised the project. Adam Hess and Katy Stowe digitized the watercolor drawings. Andrée Bourgeois, Carrie Green, and Katy Stowe uploaded the images and entered the metadata into CONTENTdm. Carrie Green designed this website. LOUIS Consortium Librarians John Guillory and Zehra Zamin provided CONTENTdm training and technical support.