Digitization projects increase for historical preservation

March 29th, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture | Information Management

More communities are leveraging conversion services to digitize important historical records and ensure they are maintained for future reference and research purposes.

Pines and Lakes reported that the Heritage Group North (HGN) of Minnesota has adopted a digitization project to preserve local artifacts. The news source reported that the HGN has been storing more than 100 years of local newspaper archives, as well as glass slide negatives of photographs. With grant funding, the negatives of Glen Glover, a local photographer, are currently being scanned by the Minnesota Digital Library. Those photos will then be available through the organization's website. The HGN has plans to continue with digitization, including the conversion of Pine River Journal archives and the DVD release of John Rohr film reels, to a digital format.

According to The Huffington Post, J. Michael Francis, a history professor at the University of South Florida, and some of his graduate students have been participating in similar digitization efforts. Francis and his students have been using document imaging technology to scan more than 6,000 fragile pages of parish documents from the St. Augustine Catholic convent, which cover the births, deaths, marriages and baptisms of people who lived in St. Augustine from 1595 through the mid-1700s.

"The documents shed light on aspects of Florida history that are very difficult to reconstruct," Francis told The Huffington Post.

By digitizing historical records, organizations can protect information while making it widely accessible to the public.

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