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Library of Congress usually has different versions of digitized works. see this example

What is "color film copy transparency"? and what is its different with "digital file from original"?

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Pretty sure this is off topic for photograpy. It's a good question, but I'm not sure which Stack Exchange site it would fit on exactly. – AJ Henderson Jun 4 '13 at 16:47
History might be the best place to ask this. Perhaps a mod can see about migrating it there. – AJ Henderson Jun 4 '13 at 17:06
Hmm... @AJHenderson history of photography, photography in society, techniques (preservation would fit I think), are all on topic here. I think it's ok. – John Cavan Jun 5 '13 at 1:23
@JohnCavan - but it isn't history of photography. It's a painting. – AJ Henderson Jun 5 '13 at 2:59
Your answer, however, includes photography. I think it may be close to the edge, but it's kind of refreshing to have some history/preservation here. We do, after all, have questions on taking photos of art. So, why not how to handle those photos after? – John Cavan Jun 5 '13 at 3:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For color film copy transparency, they took a color photograph (negative), developed a color transparency (positive) and scanned the transparency to produce a digital file. Digital file from original means that the original was either scanned or digitally photographed. It has to do with what was digitized, was it the original or some kind of copy.

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Thanks for your answer, do you know why they do make those negatives and positives while they can easily scan the originals with their medium format cameras? – Omne Jun 13 '13 at 14:25
@Omne - if I had to guess, probably just time. It's a lot easier to do a high quality scan of the film you have on file than it is to pull an artifact from display and do another detailed capture of it. They may update it eventually, but it's far quicker to scan a bunch of archival stuff than it is to pull thousands of artifacts off display. – AJ Henderson Jun 13 '13 at 14:37

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