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Series Processing Inventories

Click on the agency tab below to see what series have been processed for digitization.

Series gap fills process

TRAIL is pleased to announce the launch of their series gap fill effort!  This is a strategic direction that emerged from the 2021 TRAIL annual meeting, and we are now ready to fill gaps in the series for which TRAIL has processed content.

How & When

A gap fill request or “needs list” for reports from one or more series from a particular agency will be sent out every 4-6 weeks to different email lists in the following order: TRAIL members list, sci-tech email lists, gov doc lists, and FDLP eXchange. The needs list will be revised at each step as content is contributed.

After each email is sent, recipients will have roughly 4-6 weeks (a deadline date will be provided) to investigate their local holdings and provide to Mel DeSart, at, a list of:

  • the print reports that they can supply for destructive scanning;
  • the reports that they are willing to digitize to TRAIL digitization standards; or
  • some combination of those two (able to supply some reports in print but only supply digitized versions of others.)

Those offering content need to be very clear about which materials they can offer in print and which they can offer in digital form. 

After the offer deadline, TRAIL will evaluate all offers received.  If offers are received from multiple locations, TRAIL will focus on accepting the options that will supply the largest number of print reports from the fewest locations, to simplify tracking and to keep shipping costs as low as possible.

Neither print nor digital reports should be sent to Mel DeSart, nor should they be shipped to TRAIL without an explicit confirmation to proceed and instructions on how to deliver that content.  No one offering to digitize some of their reports specifically for TRAIL should invest the time and effort in doing so until they get a go ahead from Mel.   

Print reports will go to TRAIL’s processing operation at the University of Arizona, while digital files will be sent to the University of North Texas Digital Library.

Providing Print

If a location only has a few reports available to ship, we hope that the offering institution will cover the shipping costs.  However, one benefit of TRAIL membership is that TRAIL will pay for shipping for TRAIL members, so if a TRAIL member has a box or two to ship, TRAIL will cover those shipping costs.

Providing Digital Files

If a location is not willing to give up their print reports for destructive scanning but is willing to scan the reports to TRAIL digitization specifications and provide the digital files, we will accept those files instead of the print originals.

TRAIL Digitization Specifications

Scanning specifications

B&W Text w/ Illustrations (Photos, Drawings, Plates, Charts)

8-bit Grayscale, 400ppi, Tiff (uncompressed)

Text w/ Continuous-Tone Images & Photos (Color)

24-bit RGB, 400ppi, Tiff (uncompressed)

The image requirements that HathiTrust provides on its website give good guidance related to the look of the files as they are being scanned.

Documents should be scanned from outside front cover through outside back cover, with the front and verso of EVERY page scanned (even blank ones – we want the scanned version to be as close as possible to an exact replica of the print).  Every scanned image is to be saved as an individual file, so the outside front cover is one file, the inside front cover is the second file, etc.

For filenames, please use eight-character numerical filenames followed by a three-letter file extension. 

00000001.tif, 00000002.tif, 00000003.tif, 00000004.tif, etc.

So a front cover scan would be saved as 00000001.tif, the inside front cover as 00000002.tif, etc.

All scanned page files should be dropped into a folder or directory with a name that describes the agency, series and report number of the item being scanned.  For instance, for the Bureau of Mines Information Circular 6023, the folder for all the pages of that particular report might be called


Since these files are all going to be of reports in series that TRAIL already has processed, abbreviating the file names should be OK.  So perhaps the above could be much shorter:


These files will be sent to the University of North Texas for addition to TRAIL.  Per UNT, the easiest way to get the folders/files to them is to save all of the scanned content to a thumb/USB drive and simply mail it to them.  We will supply the appropriate mailing address if you choose to digitize files, using the guidelines above, for TRAIL.

While we are happy to try to answer questions about any of the above, most of your institutions have Library IT / Digital Library / Preservation staff who have experience digitizing materials to guidelines similar to those above.  Consider talking with those people within your organization if you would like clarification about the instructions above.