Library of Congress – Development of the Next Generation Camera Target

Background and History

In September 2015, Avian Rochester began a series of projects with the Library of Congress (LC). Initially, this relationship surrounded the design and fabrication of the Next Generation Camera Target (NGT). The details of this project, entitled “Creation of Color Analysis Target,” are below.

Define the spectral coordinates for the reflective human vision environment

The goal of the first task was to propose a set of colors for the NGT. Sets of existing colors were examined: some that are commercially available, and others that are historically significant. From these color sets, a distribution of colors was proposed for the NGT. These colors are intended to optimally fill the available color gamut given the durability requirements. (full report).

Define the coordinates for cultural heritage materials by logical category

The goal of the second task was to propose additional colors representative of culturally relevant materials. As a basis for determining these additional colors, a set of approximately 1700 samples were measured, encompassing the range of available culturally relevant materials. These samples included: books, periodicals, photographic prints, and others. From the distribution of these measured colors, the additional NGT colors were proposed to complement those proposed in task A. The total set of proposed colors now considered both the available color targets and included an emphasis on areas of color space representing culturally relevant materials. (full report).

Identify an appropriate base material for a next generation color target

The goal of the third task was to evaluate a series of potential materials to be used as the supporting layer onto which the paint will be applied. The considerations for this selection are physical: after application, paint must be of uniform color and of maximum gloss. (full report).

Identify and test an appropriate color pigment system

There were two primary concerns for this task: the attainable distribution of colors and the robustness of the patch surface, in particular the ability to be cleaned. (full report).


This completes the preliminary investigations of the various aspects of the NGT. With the color distribution, paint system, and base substrate identified, the next step was to produce the approximately 130 colors. After production, a prototype NGT and ultimately the final NGT were assembled and delivered to the Library of Congress.

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