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Sample files

Cover for Abbey House Schottische

'fancy fonts''

As with all digitisation projects, it is important to test your technology on a small sample of material before you finalise your plans. That was, naturally, done also on the What’s the score at the Bodleian? project. Our sample consisted of a few items from the collection, both loose sheets of music (with colour covers and covers without illustration) and a bound volume. Although the currently planned part of this project will be focussing on purely instrumental piano music, we also included some pieces with lyrics in the sample for testing.

The material was scanned at different resolutions and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) was run on the files to see how any text was picked up. The result showed that the material was eminently ‘scannable’ and we received clear and good scans. Not unexpectedly, it was found that in many cases the OCR was not particularly successful when it came to identifying text in ‘fancy fonts’. As many of our covers consist of text in decorative lettering, that means we will not be able to rely on that for the description of the covers. Luckily, humans tend to be able to read this kind of text without too much effort, so it shouldn’t be difficult to decode for the people contributing to the project later.

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