Inside the Supreme Court

Petition to Decision

Papers of Supreme Court Justices on Civil Rights Cases

David Achtenberg

Professor & Law Foundation Scholar

UMKC School of Law

Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

816-235-2382

AchtenbergD@umkc.edu

 

 

 

Monell v. Department of Social Services

Image Creation and Conversion Protocols

Creating the Images

Converting Images to PDFs

The originals of the documents in this website were digitally photographed at the Library of Congress or the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives.  They were photographed with a Pentax K-20D mounted on an RPS Studio Copy Stand.  A Pentax 80-200mm zoom lens was used and was normally set at 80mm.  The camera and stand were set to be certain to capture the entire document and the images necessarily also included part of the baseboard.

The camera was controlled by a laptop using the Pentax Remote Assistant software and the images were directly stored in an external hard drive rather than in the camera itself.  The software also made it possible to automatically assign each image a file name that indicated the archive box and file in which it was found and a unique image number.  The file naming protocol is described on the Sources Page.  (Click here.) 

Each image was stored as a jpeg file, usually between four and six megapixels in size.  The website, however, does not contain the original jpeg files but instead displays pdf files that were created from the originals as described to the right.  

All original image files have been maintained.  Please let me know if you think that any particular image needs to be replaced with a higher resolution version. In addition, I will also be happy to send higher resolution copies (or original JPEGs) of any images to anyone who needs them. You will be doing me a service by identifying unclear images. 

The images that constituted a single document were converted to a single pdf file to save space and speed access.  The following was the standard method for that conversion:
  • JPEG files were edited using Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
  • Images were rotated to vertical.
  • Images were cropped to eliminate most of the background (copy stand base)
  • The program's color enhancement tool was used to try to create accurate white background.  (In some cases, color saturation was reduced as well.)
  • The program's autocorrect function was used if it created a more legible copy. 
  • The program's compress file function was used at the "document" setting.  (This ordinarily reduced the file to roughly one-tenth its original size.) 

The resulting jpeg image files were then combined into a single pdf file using Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.

While this was the standard protocol, images that contained difficult to read, handwritten notes sometimes required individual adjustment (usually of brightness and contrast) to improve legibility.  Where a need for substantial magnification was anticipated, the image file was not compressed.  Please let me know if you think that any particular image needs to be replaced with a higher resolution version. In addition, I will also be happy to send higher resolution copies (or original JPEGs) of any images to anyone who needs them.