Castle Shannon History

The History of Castle Shannon

Castle Shannon History in Pictures is part of a joint project to capture a pictorial history of Castle Shannon, Mt. Lebanon and Dormont communities.

Castle Shannon History in Pictures – Overview of Project

This project is part of a joint project of Castle Shannon, Mt. Lebanon and Dormont communities, supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is a kind of unique digital library project focused on communities with storied histories and based out of local public libraries.

The focus of the initial phase of the project was to capture a pictorial history of the communities. The hope is to expand this project by a grant for funds to include other types of historical documents, such as written papers and other items of historical significance to the featured communities. This project also serves as a model for other libraries looking to create similar projects that will allow the library to be a focal point for history in the community.

As the collection stands today there are over 50 images categorized by relevant subject matter. Visitors to the site can search by a particular pre-determined category or select a general overview of pictures organized by date of ascension (the date digitally captured). Items selected were chosen for there portrayal a particular area of the community or historical significance to the community. It is felt that these images (and others to be included) give a glimpse into the storied history of the Castle Shannon Community.

Castle Shannon History in Pictures – Technical Specifications

The images used were taken from scanning photographs and photographic postcards from a library housed collection and the collection of a local historian. Due to the age and deterioration of some of these photographs some minor post processing cleanup of the images, is necessary. The hope is to present the images more as they actually appear in the photographs at hand. Therefore some blemishes are left intentionally on the images gathered.

Images are scanned at a resolution of 600 pixels per inch (ppi) and TIFF files are created that are used to create web accessible viewing images and to create high quality photographic images when necessary. These images are then archived onto a master CD-ROM and a backup CD-ROM, and placed in storage.

Derivative viewing images with a 750-pixel dimension on the long edge are created to allow the images to be viewed closely for detail and fit mostly within the average viewing area of a computer monitor. Given that there are a mixture of colored, sepia tone and pure black and white images, and that one of the methods of viewing the collection will be through the World Wide Web, the main viewing images are in JPEG medium quality format to standardize and simplify the image creation process and to allow for quicker loading of images. Thumbnail images are created with a 150 pixel on the long edge in GIF format to allow the viewer to see sufficient detail from a quick view since there are many landscapes contained in the collection. Use of the GIF format also allows for quicker load times since these files contain a smaller color palette.

Scanned items are then assigned an accession number based on date scanned. With the aid of a historian, metadata such as Title, Creator, Contributor, Subject, Keywords, Description, and Date of Origin are assigned and recorded on pre-formatted forms. This information is used in the header section of each web page created for the Castle Shannon History in Pictures website. The subject metadata are used to help slot images into categories for searching.

From a copyright standpoint, practically every image is from prior to 1923 and believed to be in the public domain. For any image newer than these years, effort has been made to secure the permission of the item’s owners. Often the images were taken by individuals in the communities pictured and they are part of local historians collections. The actual postcards and photographs are used with the permission of the owner of the item voluntarily. In all cases, when in doubt, the owner of the photograph or image is listed in the metadata as the main contributor for any kind of rights issues.

Please check back to the Castle Shannon History in Pictures website regularly as we add more pictures to the collection and more categories are developed to describe pictures and other items in the collection.


Click on one of the topics to see any pictures that fit that category. If you would like a photo-ready version of any picture, please contact the Community Library of Castle Shannon.

This digital program was supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.