Digitizing records can help preserve historical documents

September 6th, 2012 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management

Each person who handles old documents runs the risk of irreparably damaging the document. Original files can be better preserved from the risks posed by natural and manmade disasters, as well as the oils that are present on human hands after making the switch from paper documents, to electronic document management

With an eye toward preserving their historical records, researchers at Southeast Missouri State University are digitizing campus documents pertaining to the Civil War, according to the Southeast Missourian. The source reported that students and faculty members at Kent Library are taking part in the project called "Confluence and Crossroads: The Civil War in the American Heartland."

More than 1,600 documents will be stored on computers, including files, photographs and artifacts gathered from various history experts in Missouri and Illinois. The project will be completed by July 15, 2013 and will have cost $153,000, according to the source.

Projects of this sort are intended to preserve primary sources while also digitizing historical information so it is accessible and searchable. Preservation has been the driving force behind projects of this kind. Many academic and civic institutions are embarking on similar projects, such as Texas' Scurry County Museum's effort to preserve local family records, Abilene's Reporter-News reports.

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