The illustrations and photos in this document were scanned at 300dpi on a hp ScanJet 4300C flatbed scanner or at 300dpi or 350dpi on a Umax Mirage IIse B-size flatbed scanner. Scans were cleaned up using the GNU Image Manipulation Program (the "GIMP") adjust brightness, contrast and gamma, erase spots, even out colors, etc to create a satisfactory image. Pages available as the adjusted scans are 300dpi (or 350 dpi) PNG files; pages intended for the website have mostly been scaled to 150dpi.
A few images, mostly line-drawing three-views, have been converted to SVG format. Conversions to SVG were mostly done in Inkscape.
Articles with extensive text are available in HTML format; many will be converted to PDF format (an ongoing effort), formatting done in Scribus, with the pictures imported at their scanned resolution, and saved by Scribus' PDF generator. Compositing in Scribus and saving as PDF makes the text searchable.
The operating system where all this work was done is Linux. My personal choice is SuSE and the work has been done on versions from SuSE 9 through OpenSuSE 12.2. The scanner interface program has been xsane. Some early OCR work was done using Textbridge Pro running on Windows 98 in a virtual machine. Most OCR was done with Tesseract running natively in Linux, using YAGF as a GUI interface. Recognized text from the virtual machine was sent to the Linux machine as plain text (.TXT file), either internally between the virtual machine and the host OS or by Sneakernet. Early text was processed in Open Office Writer and saved as ODT files; later text was processed in LibreOffice Writer. In each case, Writer was used to clean up the OCR and make such editing changes as seemed appropriate. PDF compositing was done in Scribus (a few draft files were saved as PDF from Writer); HTML processing was done in KWrite, the KDE minimal text processor.
The various files are stored in directories by year of publication. The filenames are descriptive:
(optional)<airplane type> _ <magazine name> _ issue(YYMM[-day]) _ [optional article name] _ page number(s) . <file type>
A note on magazine dates: it was common (actually, I think, standard) practice to label the magazine with the date that the retailer should pull it from the shelf this made it unnecessary for the retailer to keep track of the publication schedules of a large number of different publications. It sometimes happened that a monthly magazine would have a specific pull date, eg, a July issue would have a cover date of July 15, which can be a bit confusing when looking for specific issues. The practice means that the magazines were typically issued about a month before the cover date, so using magazine dates as references for events, such as first introduction of a new type or the date of a particular event, can be misleading, given the necessary pre-press production delays in putting the magazine together.
Industry practice was for retailers to pull the covers (usually just the front cover) of unsold copies and send them back to the distributor for credit. The cover dates gave him guidance when to do that.
Also note that this practice is not now, and probably was not then, uniform. Some magazines have the date of publication on their covers. All of the magazines in this reference collection, though, seem to be of the "cover date is the pull date" variety.
This information should allow any researcher to go to the original source, find the original image, ad or article and see its context. Since some of the scans are slightly cropped, it will also allow the researcher to see the entire image in such cases. Other images, taken from large-format magazines, have been reduced; the reference allows the researcher to see them in their original size. Also, different copies might have different degrees of distortion of gamma in images or show differing amounts of smear or smudge.
Access to the originals will be especially important in the case of the articles which have been recomposited in Scribus, since in those cases the pagination of the text will be changed somewhat and there will be editorial changes, such as correction of obvious typographical errors and some standardization of the use of abbreviations and symbols. There is always the possibility of an editorial error in making these decisions.
Purists and pedants will find some things in the editorial changes to be objectionable:
Periods in abbreviations (in., ft., Lt., Gen., etc.) and in initials in proper names have been elided.
Degree (or deg.), minute (min.) and second (sec.) angle callouts have frequently, but not uniformly, been changed to °, ', ", respectively, if abbreviated in the original.
Italics are used for aircraft popular names (Flying Fortress, Mustang), for individual airplane nicknames (Suzy Q, Rosie's Riveters), ship names (Scharnhorst, Lexington), and publications (Stars and Stripes, Aviation).
Usage of italics for foreign words or terms (Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht) is less consistent and tends to reflect the usage in the original.
Spelling is in most cases changed to modern usage, as reflected in the dictionary in Open Office, which means that words like "travelled" in the original will be shown as "traveled," eliding the doubled character in forming the participle. Spelling of foreign place names has mostly been left as in the original; one common exception has been changing "Tokio" to "Tokyo".