Digital Surrogates Have Not yet Proven Themselves to Be Replaceable Facsimiles

A digital surrogate of The Cruise of The Fleur-de-Lys in The Ocean Race, written by Lewis A. Stimson, can be found using the HathiTrust digital library. This online copyn is the same edition of the book that we have here in our special collections library at Colby College, though it is not the a surrogate of the exact copy that we hold.  The discovered digital copy of the book and physical copy that we have here present comparable experiences when flipping though the pages, each with its own advantage. The original copy of the scanned images is presently held at Harvard University. The copy used to create a digital surrogate, which has the ability to be compared to so many other versions, has its own decipherable history of use comparable to the Colby copy held here.

A digital surrogate provides less of a tangible and personal reading experience. One can easily scroll through the pages with speed when compared to the physical act of turning a page. In the physical copy that I examined, each photograph is bound into the book using a paper that resembles photo paper, more than it does the rest of the text that holds the written information. Each photograph, in the physical copy, is its own page with a blank reverse side that lends the thought of adventure and commemoration of a personal experience. Although, In the digital copy of the book, even though it includes the blank backsides of the photographs, one must simply scroll past blank white space in order to progress through the images, where the texture of the pages are not tangible through a scan. This

In addition to the tangible difference in the pages, there are several images that present themselves in e different fashion than depicted in the physical copy. Two images, in particular are of a much lower quality, and this is most likely due to a simple issue when scanning. The largest difference is the fold out map that is represented in the last pages of the book. Within the physical copy, the map is the width of three pages, folded over one another for protection when not in use, and it depicts a visual image of the course that is described throughout the beginning of the narrative.The digital scanning did not record the entirety of the map, and for some odd reason, only shows the last third of the three folds: an odd way to scan a three-fold page.

The binding of the digital copy is not visible in the images provided, though, judging from the images of the cover and its back, the binding should be the same fashion as the binding of the physical copy, as well as in similar condition. The scale of the digital version is initially fairly large when compared to the physical version, though the it is adjustable. This option leads to a change in the experience of reading. Rather than adjusting the distance between a your eyes and the information on a page, the scale of the page is changed by zooming in or out. This creates a much more technological experience rather than tangible.

In addition to a difference in the physical experience of reading the narrative, copy specific information of the narrative is lost. The features of the conditions on each cover of the books are unique to an individual copy. Whether it be stains or shading from use or storage, the damage aids in the history of its use and previous purpose. There is also a loss of a unique, though fairly difficult to decipher, inscription residing on the title page of the physical copy of the book. The digital copy loses that personal experience that can give any individual copy a grander story and more of a personality. This loss in perception of physical appearance of the book also leads to a loss in the purpose of the book that can be found the certain physical attributes. In addition to a loss in physical perception, the loss of effectiveness in certain visual aids can lead to a lesser connection to the storyline and not as
great of an understanding of the tale.

Another unique aspect to the edition of this book is that it was privately printed, and most likely directed to a smaller, more specific audience. Modern technology has allowed for the projection of the more privately directed piece of writing to a larger audience.

Moreover, a scan will affect the depiction of color in the desired copy, and, therefore slightly changes the experience of reading the digital surrogate. Somehow, even though the original version is, very similarly, the starch colors of black type against white pages, with

the addition of black and white images, there is a difference in the appearance of the pages. The scanned copy seems to have a more noticeably related coloration between the two colors, almost making the read a more terse experience. The edges of the letters seem to be less smooth, lending a different feeling to the eyes that follow them along a page of type. Personally, I prefer the tangible read to the accessibility of a digital facsimile.