Digitisation of Traditional Format Library Materials

Spencer collection of slides of Papua New Guinea, 1953-1978

Project Brief | Cataloguing guidelines


To provide access through the Library’s catalogue to the 1,234 slides in the Terence and Margaret Spencer collection.


  • Create an individual catalogue record for each slide by using a base record and title and subtitle information contained in a Word table
  • Digitise slides
  • Link images to catalogue records
  • Load images to Pictures Catalogue and PictureAustralia

Description of the material to be digitised

A collection of 35mm slides (mainly colour) taken by Dr Terence and Dr Margaret Spencer during the course of their work in the investigation and control of malaria for the Malaria Control Service of the Department of Public Health of Papua New Guinea between 1953 and 1978 : Port Moresby, 1953; the Wahgi Valley (Western Highlands of New Guinea), 1954-1955; the D'Entrecasteaux Islands of Papua, 1956-1959; the New Guinea Islands including Tasmans and Mortlocks, 1960-1961; Bougainville Island, 1972; Port Moresby, 1975-1978. Photographs include landscapes, village life, ceremonies and patrol work. Dr. Margaret Spencer, an entomologist, and Dr Terence Spencer, a malariologist, worked in epidemiological studies, specifically on anopheline fauna and malaria control in Papua New Guinea from the 1950s to 1978.

Preservation, care and handling guidelines

DISCLAIMER: The National Library of Australia disclaims liability for the use of the information provided in this page. The guidelines have been produced to aid Library staff in the digitisation of collection material. The National Library of Australia accepts no responsibility for the loss occasioned as a direct or indirect result of the use of the information in these guidelines.

A collection of 1,090 35mm colour slides housed in slotted boxes. The slides are mounted on either plastic, cardboard or glass. Most of the slides are very dusty and require cleaning before scanning. Fingerprints and smudges are also on a few slides. The glass mounted slide have been adhered together with tape. This collection will be re-housed for cold store after digitisation.

General rules:

Treatments: This collection is in relatively good condition. A conservator will carry out any major treatments. To facilitate the scanning process, Digitisation Project staff may do some minor treatments.

Scanning: The Nikon Super CoolScan 8000 should be used. Ensure each slide is securely placed in the holder.


NLA staff Other
Pictorial Collection Researchers interested in Papua New Guinea
Digitisation Team Researchers interested in medicine and public health
Imaging Services Institutions with related collections, subject interest
Digitisation Steering Committee Public
Preservation Services  
Public Programs  
Special Materials Cataloguing  

Program of work

Item Responsibility Date completed or time period
Preservation assessment Preservation Services April 2001
Decide on cataloguing treatment Special Materials Cataloguing Unit June 2001
Create catalogue records using base record and Word table Special Materials Cataloguing Unit June 2001
General condition survey Digitisation Project team leaders July 2001
Deliver material to Digitisation Pictorial Section August 2001
Clean slides and replace no. of mounts Digitisation Project team leaders August-September 2001
Care and handling guidelines Digitisation Project team leaders August 2001
Global corrections to catalogue records Special Materials Cataloguing Unit September 2001
Reload catalogue records to ILMS ILMS October 2001
Create catalogue records for 8 slides missed in original batch Special Materials Cataloguing Unit October 2001
Create Pictorial Manager batches Digitisation Project team November 2001
Scan slides using Nikon scanner from Imaging Services Digitisation Project team November 2001
Quality check images Digitisation Project team leaders November 2001
Deliver material back to Pictorial Digitisation staff November 2001
Strip metadata from images and put in spreadsheets Information Technology Branch November 2001
Rename images and move to Pictorial’s Complete folder Information Technology Branch November 2001
Check metadata spreadsheets Digitisation Project team November 2001
Change batch status on Pictorial Manager Digitisation Project teram November 2001
Create derivatives & rename for Pictorial Manager Information Technology Branch November 2001
Load images to Pictures Catalogue Information Technology Branch November 2001


Project owner/Driver David Toll and Margy Burn
Project manager Angela Brown
Key information sources Pictorial Manager, Preservation Services, Digitisation Team, IT, Imaging Services
  1. Errors in catalogue records necessitated global changes to all catalogue records and reloading of records to ILMS.
  2. 8 slides not picked up in creation of catalogue records.
  3. Digitisation Project scanners not capable of producing good quality images from 35mm slides. This necessitated negotiating with Imaging Services to use their Nikon 4000 scanner when it is returned from being serviced.
  4. Colour of images too blue. Scanning stopped until Greg Pook could solve problem.


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