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I was thinking of trying to add some more Squier and Davis images to Commons, and also to upload some better quality ones to replace some of the existing low-resolution examples. My motivation is that Squier and Davis remains a key primary source for most of these sites, many of which are sufficiently notable for Wikipedia coverage. And the Squier and Davis images are a great way to quickly appreciate what was present at the site before (most) European disturbance.
The External Links section links to a 2011 scan of the entire original edition that is available for download as a PDF from the World Digital Library. And from there it's straightforward to create PNG versions of individual plates that can be cropped, rotated, adjusted, etc. as needed. Here's an example:
Plate XXXV. Serpent Mound. Converted to grayscale, cropped, and with white/black levels altered.
This raises a couple of questions:
It looks like previous scans by User:Heironymous Rowe were probably done from the 1998 reissue. The 2011 scan by the Smithsonian likely has more detail, but includes a lot of artifacts such as yellowed paper, dust specks, uneven lighting. Is the 2011 scanned version (of the 1848 original) workable as a source for these images?
Does anyone have image manipulation tips to create nice crisp grayscale PNGs from the original color scans of these plates. I am using Paint.NET, but any advice would be welcome.