RIPM’s practice is to produce high quality archival images (400 DPI grayscale) of all periodicals and to distribute derivatives of them over the Internet.
The RIPM Jazz Periodicals archive is a collection of periodicals reproduced from originals in various conditions and formats. Many journals in the Archive were scanned from originals in excellent condition, others less so, and still others were scanned from service copies of microfilm or even photocopies. While a considerable effort has been made to digitize documents in excellent condition, at times this has not been possible. We have then captured what is available, and while a better copy might be found in a far-off collection, the idea of delaying digitization until it was, seemed to us counter-productive and too utopian a scheme to pursue. Thus the question that determined whether a valuable journal was scanned for dissemination in the RIPM Jazz Periodicals was: “Can we read it with a reasonable amount of ease (or even with a bit of difficulty)?” If yes, it was scanned. It has been RIPM’s position that a digitized copy, even if imperfect, is better than no copy at all, until of course a better copy becomes available. Note that you will even see the occasional finger of a colleague holding down a cantankerous page that refused to lie still for picture taking. RIPM scans the original documents manually (and not with automatic page turners) in order to avoid damage to the originals.
In additional to journals in the Institute of Jazz Studies, the archive also contains periodicals scanned by RIPM from collections of its Partner or Participating Libraries. Although RIPM endeavors to release complete runs of journals, in certain cases where complete runs cannot be established. Of the 105 journals included in the initial release of RIPM Jazz Periodicals, eighteen are lacking one or more issues, twelve of which contain all issues which could be located. These lacunae are also noted in the “About the Journal” page for each publication. Missing pages are identified with placeholders. Finally, in some cases it was not possible to reproduce a journal’s complete run. In one case, that of Down Beat, RIPM Jazz Periodicals contains those issues that appeared between 1934 and 1963.
Also worthy of note is the extensive effort that has gone into piecing together, from numerous libraries, missing volumes, pages and issues to furnish the most complete run possible.