About the project

The Mary Couts Burnett Library at TCU and the UTA Library Special Collections, with support from the NHPRC, collaborated on a project to digitize and provide metadata for 34.5 linear feed of papers and 5000 photographic negatives documenting the life of Texas businessman Amon G. Carter (1879-1955).

Combined, the collections at TCU and UTA reveal a deep wellspring of Carter’s business and personal accomplishments and his single-handed efforts to shape the national and world perception of Texas in the early twentieth century.

Digitized materials are available and searchable through a jointly managed web portal. The purpose of this project is to provide online access to these collections and encourage fresh scholarly examinations of Carter and his influence on Texas and the nation.

Project staff

  • Jacob Brown, TCU Digital Services Librarian
  • Jeff Downing, UTA Digital Projects Librarian
  • Allison Kirchner, TCU Archival Specialist
  • Brenda McClurkin, UTA Special Collections Department Head
  • Mary Saffell, TCU Senior Archivist
  • XX student assistants for scanning and metadata

Project methodologies


Under the supervision of Mary Saffell and Allison Kirchner, student assistants digitized the papers using two Epson Perfection V800 Photo Color Scanners, and one Epson Expression 12000XL Photo Scanner. Oversized items were digitized using a Copibook Cobalt HD A2 size book scanner. Students scanned documents at 600 dpi, 24 bit color, saved as TIFF images, and then created PDFs with OCR captured text. Metadata for items was gathered in Excel spreadsheets. After quality control checks, Jacob Brown uploaded digital files and metadata to TCU Library’s DSpace repository.


Student assistants at UTA Libraries scanned 5,000 negatives using Epson Expression 11000XL-Photo Scanners. All materials were scanned in RGB color at a minimum of 600 dpi resolution (depending on format) and saved as uncompressed TIFF files, with JPG derivative files created from master TIFF files. Digital files were uploaded to UTA Libraries' DSpace repository.

To facilitate easy access and research to digitized material from both institutions, the TCU Digital Services Librarian designed and implement the primary web interface. This website uses DSpace as its data store via the DSpace REST API, pulling metadata and files from both the UTA and TCU DSpace repositories for display on the portal website. The DSpace REST API provides a full featured interface for requesting and loading repository content.