Shaping the Values of Youth Project History

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"Shaping the Values of Youth: Sunday School Books in Nineteenth Century America" was funded by a grant from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition. The period of the grant was September 1999 to February 2001.

The works digitized for this electronic archive are owned by the Special Collections Division of the Michigan State University Libraries and the Clark Historical Library at Central Michigan University. Additional titles may be digitized as they are acquired by MSU or CMU.

Digitization was performed by staff of the Digital & Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries. The electronic copies are available both as page images (.jpg files) and text transcriptions available in HTML and XML. Scanning was performed without disbinding the original books. Text transcriptions were marked up using Text Encoding Initiative (TEI Lite) tagset before conversion to HTML/XML for web browser display.

To learn more about this project please select on of the following links:

Digitization Process

Digitization was performed by the Digital & Multimedia Center, Michigan State University Libraries. The electronic editions were produced in two formats: page images and text transcriptions.
Page Images

All books were scanned without being disbound. The original grant proposal specified that tightly bound books would be scanned with an overhead scanner. This turned out not to be necessary; it was possible to scan all items face-down without causing further damage. The majority were scanned on a Hewlett-Packard color flatbed ScanJet 5100C with a 9x12 inch scanner bed. A few large-size titles were scanned on a UMAX Mirage D-16L color flatbed scanner with a 12x17 inch scanner bed. Scans on both machines were done at 400 dpi, 256-bit color, and saved in compressed .TIF format.

The .TIF images were resized and saved as .JPGs using JASC Image Robot. version 1.1. Both versions were burned to CD-ROMs for storage. Copies of the archival .TIF images are available on request; the .JPG images are used for web delivery.

Typing copies of the books were produced on a black & white Minolta overhead scanner with output to a photocopier, to eliminate the need for further handling of the originals.
Text Transcriptions

The majority of texts were typed using the freeware program Note Tab Light, version 4.6a, available from Note Tab was used instead of a conventional word processing program because it produces only ASCII text and has tag libraries which can be customized by editing one of the .clb files accompanying the program. A miniature tag library was created for the Sunday school books project, containing only page breaks, paragraphs, three font styles (italic, bold, and smallcaps), and an ISO-LAT1 character menu.

Undergraduate typists followed a set of transcription guidelines, described in Editorial Interventions. The typists inserted page break and paragraph tags, noted font changes (from roman to italic, bold, or smallcaps), and inserted codes for ISO-LAT1 characters. Other special characters, illustrations, and any other non-textual material were noted for later attention.

The majority of the books were typed twice by different students or teams of students, and proofread using a file comparison program. The freeware program ExamDiff was used at first, and later replaced by the Compare Documents function in Microsoft Word 97. Single versions of a few texts were corrected manually by a staff member with professional proofreading experience.
Text Encoding

The corrected texts were then encoded in TEI.2 conformant markup using the TEILITE DTD. See the Encoding Guidelines for details. SoftQuad's Author/Editor was used at the beginning of the project and replaced by SoftQuad's XMetal 1.2, later 2.0. The texts were created and saved in SGML format, then converted to XML documents in XMetal.

An XSL style sheet was created to display the transcriptions in Internet Explorer 5.x. XMLwriter, version 1.21, was used to produce HTML copies for display in Netscape and earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

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Editorial Intervention

The following editorial interventions have been made in the transcriptions of the Sunday school books.

Archaic spelling and punctuation have been retained. Typographic errors have also been retained, and have been tagged as <sic> with the attribute of the "corr" value containing the correct spelling of the word. An exception has been made for missing quotation marks because the resulting tag <sic corr="""></sic>, with three consecutive sets of quotation marks, will not validate against the DTD. Missing quotation marks have been added silently.

Line breaks have not been retained. Ambiguous end-of-line hyphens have been retained, even across a page break. Unambiguous end-of-line hyphens have been dropped. When an unambiguous hyphen divides a word across two pages, the hyphen has been dropped and the trailing part of the word moved from the top of the second page and joined to the leading part of the word at the bottom of the first page. The page break is then inserted before the first full word of the second page.

Words which differ in type style from the surrounding text (italic and small caps, generally for reasons of emphasis) have been noted. The occasional use of a decorative type in places such as the column heads in a table of contents has not been noted.

Initial capitals which are simply larger in size than the surrounding text have been transcribed without special tagging. Decorative initial capitals have been treated twice: first tagged as a <figure> and then rendered as part of the transcription. This ensures that the text is still readable if illustrations are not displayed as inline graphics.

Running heads and page numbers have not been transcribed. Page numbers or page identifications have been used as the "n" attribute of the <pb> tag. (For example, <pb n="72"> or <pb n="title page">) Signature marks (inserted by the printer to correctly assemble the folded and gathered pages) have not been transcribed.

Inscriptions have been transcribed if they appear to be contemporary with the original publication of the book. Book plates have also been transcribed, but inscriptions such as prices, call numbers and inventory numbers which appear to have been added later by librarians or bookdealers have been ignored. Random pencil marks in a few books, apparently made by young children, have also been ignored.

Footnotes whose text extends across more than one page have been consolidated into a single note.

Illustrations have been been noted with the <figure> tag. Decorative typographic devices have also been noted if they can be said to depict some recognizable object. For example, a small row of flowers would be tagged as a figure, but a plain horizontal rule would not, though either might have been used to signal the end of a chapter.

Blank pages have been ignored in the transcriptions. Images of the blank pages were created as part of the preservation copy of each book but have been dropped from the sequence of page images for the convenience of the reader.

Seven 19th century hymnals were added near the end of the project. While the hymnals are a natural complement to the rest of the collection, they required some special editorial treatment. Most significantly, it was beyond the scope of this project to mark up the musical notation. However, the musical scores are still available to users by viewing the page images. The words to the hymns were transcribed verse by verse: that is, the order in which they would be sung, not the order in which they appear on the page. The chorus for each hymn is given only once, although it would normally be repeated after each verse when the hymn is sung aloud.

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Encoding Guidelines

Project Staff

Project Directors

  • Peter Berg,
    Head, Special Collections Division, Michigan State University Libraries
  • Michael Seadle,
    Head, Digital & Multimedia Center, Michigan State University Libraries
Project Manager
  • Ruth Ann Jones,
    Digital Projects Coordinator, Digital & Multimedia Center, Michigan State University Libraries

Introductory Essays and Biographical Notes

  • Stephen Rachman,
    Department of English, Michigan State University

TEI.2 Encoding

  • Ruth Ann Jones
  • Noel Allende Goitía
  • Amin Maredia
  • Mark Spano
  • Amy Vance

Data Entry Workflow Management

  • Amy Vance
  • Stephanie Bour

Image Production & Conversion Workflow Management

  • Mark Spano
  • Stephanie Bour

eXtensible Style Language Programming

  • Erica Olsen
  • Edward J. N. Roberts

Original Website Design

  • Erica Olsen
  • Edward J. N. Roberts
  • Andrea McVittie

Updated Website Design

  • Shelby Kroske
  • Jenny Brandon

Scanning and Data Entry

  • Nusrat Ali
  • Noel Allende Goitía
  • Will Alsover
  • Jo Ann Asselin
  • Crystal Barwick
  • Cheryl Bellgraph
  • Cristina Bock
  • Linda A. Causey
  • Stephanie Cole
  • Sheri Crutcher
  • H. Louise Davis
  • LaToya Evans
  • Carolyn Furlong
  • Adelita Garcia
  • Yolanda T. Gause
  • Liu Han
  • Nicole Hawkins
  • Shelly Houghton
  • Rebecca Ives
  • Jennifer Kenyon
  • Mehdi Khowaja
  • Soyoung Kim
  • Cara Lee Koerber
  • Henry Lau
  • Julia Letoutchaia
  • Amin Maredia
  • Akilah Merriweather
  • Jasmine Momin
  • Zandile Myeni
  • Andrea R. Neff
  • Kelley Newman
  • Pierre Nzokizwanimana
  • Petra Pankow
  • Nitin Pereira
  • Mary Frances Phillips
  • Riva Pollard
  • Keisha Ries
  • Xochitl Rincon
  • Amber Shapiro
  • Mark Spano
  • Greta Stahl
  • Nishreen Upletawala
  • Amy Vance
  • Mary Weaver
  • Stacey M. Williams
  • Byung-Woo Yoon


  • Janet Baldwin

Administrative Assistance

  • Jennie Carmona García

Research Assistance

  • Anne Tracy
  • Joshua Moon
  • Carrie Preston


  • Titles from the Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection, Michigan State University Libraries, and the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
  • Digital archive created by the Digital & Multimedia Center, Michigan State University Libraries, East Lansing.
  • Introductory essays and historical commentary by Professor Stephen Rachman, Department of English, Michigan State University.
  • This site was made possible in part by funding from a Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Award.

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