Digitisation preserved essential documents of the past

Today we want to take a look at another example where digitisation preserved historical documents. Similar to analogue photos and films, older documents like newspapers and books will fade away over time. Therefore it is essential to transfer them to a digital medium to preserve them for the future.Digitisation preserved essential documents of the past

In this instance archives from a historic Welsh ironworks were digitised. Some people compare the importance of these archives to the Domesday Book and the Winston Churchill’s wartime papers. The archives were essential for the rapid development of Britain’s expansion throughout the industrial revolution. Thanks to funding it was now possible to save them from the ravages of time.

To be precise, the documents originated from the Neath Abbey Ironworks which were built in 1792. The archives held a huge collection of drawings and blueprints related to early steam machines and mine engines as well as locomotives.Digitisation preserved essential documents of the past Digitisation preserved essential documents of the pastA total of 16,600 British pounds were provided by the Welsh Government and the National Manuscripts Conservation trust (NMCT). This enabled the West Glamorgan Archive Service to start with the essential conservation of the manuscripts which includes their digitisation and the publication on the internet. Approximately 8,000 drawings could be saved to share this part of the history of Great Britain with future generations.

This is just one example of the importance of digitisation. To learn more about digitisation and to preserve your own family heirlooms including analogue photos, negatives and film, visit www.scancorner.co.uk.

ScanCorner: Digitise analogue video and photo formats

Analogue photo formats do not last forever. UV radiation, humidity and mold can damage valuable personal treasures like a photo. In order to protect such memories against long-term natural decay, it is important to restore and digitalise those analogue old formats. ScanCorner helps you with preserving all of life’s special moments in digital form. We digitise negatives, slides, old photographs, VHS tapes and Super 8 mm films. We serve Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia and India.

Place an order online

It all starts with the customer placing an order online giving the order details and shipping address. Once the order is placed online, a confirmation email is generated which has to be printed out and sent along with the order to us. Once we receive it, we weigh the order and make the estimate of the order size.  And don’t forget to quote your voucher code to receive your special discount.

Manual Scanning and Restoration

Our professionals clean and scan all the images manually on high-end scanners. They check for scratches and colour correction, edit and enhance them by special procedure, providing you with the best quality. The video digitisation involves optimization of image and sound quality, brightness and colour correction and digital noise reduction.

Personalised online gallery and DVD

After the restoration process, a link to your personal online gallery is sent to you, with low resolution photos of the processed negatives, slides and photo prints, for you to review.  For videos, a short 3 minute preview is uploaded to the online gallery, again with link being sent to you. If there are any concerns with the quality of the digitisation, please let us know and ScanCorner implements the correction requests.  You are then provided with your personalised DVD along with all the originals which are shipped back to you. This personalised DVD is easy to preserve, access and share.

Finally a download link to the digitised photo or video formats is available on request.

Results of the customer survey in April 2015

In April 2015 we asked our customers to provide feedback for the quality of our services. The purpose of the survey was to find out how our client’s rate our website, the quality of our digitised formats and our customer support.

We summarised the most important results of the survey for you:

Usability of the website

In terms of the website appearance and regarding the question how easy the order process at ScanCorner is, 53% of the customers rated the order process at our website as very easy. Furthermore 46% of our clients rated our website as very helpful to get an overview of the offers and prices of our services.

Quality of the digitised formats

For a more detailed analysis the results regarding the photo digitisation and video digitisation were considered separately.

In terms of photo digitisation, 44% of our customers were deeply contended with the quality of their digitised images, negatives and slides. Another 49% are deeply contented with the colour correction of the pictures.

In the field of video digitisation (VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, Hi8, Video8, Super8, MiniDV) 50% of the respondents are satisfied with the image quality of their digitised videos. Furthermore 53% of our customers are satisfied with the sound quality of the videos.

Packaging

It is very important for us that the precious memories of our customers arrive safely and without any damages at their homes. This is why we package any analogue formats like slides, negatives, photos, APS and other analogue photographic material very carefully. Regarding the question of whether the received videos or photos were sufficient and carefully packed, 70% of respondents answered that they are deeply contented with the packaging.

Customer Care

According to the motto “The consumer is the boss” it is important for us to analyse how our customers evaluate our support. The results help us to find solutions how to communicate with our clients more effectively and optimise our services.

The proportion of respondents, who rate the customer service as very friendly is 62%. For good customer service, it is particularly important to answer customer inquiries in a timely manner. Regarding the questions of whether the customers received a quick response to their requests, 58% answered that they were deeply contented with the quick responses of the customer support. 

All in all, more than half of our customers was satisfied with our service. Overall, 66% of our clients would digitise their precious memories again at ScanCorner and 60% of the respondents would recommend ScanCorner to their friends and acquaintances.

ScanCorner thanks you for participating in the survey. We look forward to more orders from you, your friends and acquaintances.

Regards

Your ScanCorner Team

All about slides and different types of slides

Slides:

Before digital photography was the norm, prints and slides were generally two methods of processing film. Prints were developed on a sheet of photo paper, while slides were small, transparent pieces of film in a cardboard sandwich.

‘Slide’ commonly refers to a 35 mm photographic positive image comprising chromogenic dyes on a transparent base held inside a plastic or card mount intended for projection onto a screen using a slide projector. Without this mount, the transparent film material would not be able to slide from one image to another inside a carousel or magazine when projected.

Kodak Carousel slide projector
Kodak Carousel slide projector

A 35 mm slide can be magnified by a factor of 100 (from 35 mm to 3,500 mm) and still maintain a crisp and detailed projected image. The size of what you see displayed on the screen is based on the distance from the projector. The further away from the screen, the larger the 35mm Slides will display.

Kodak advertisement in LIFE, 5 October 1959 p.68
Kodak advertisement in LIFE, 5 October 1959 p.68

Kodak’s commercial slogan during the 1950s was: ‘For sparkling pictures big as life … Kodak 35mm colour slides’. During the 35 years of their popularity, from 1960s to the mid-1990s, processing costs for slides to create high-quality projected images were relatively low. They were widely used to capture performances, journeys and the lives of artists and used in contexts ranging from domestic to commercial applications such as advertising, arts, fashion and industry. No other medium could compete with the ability of slides to produce large-scale projected images of comparable excellence. Video technology, for example, could only produce a fraction of the quality. Alternative technologies such as 16 mm film involved elaborate production process. The only other format that was readily available on a similar budget, without the need of professional post-production was 8 mm film, produced for the home movie market. Both 16 mm and 8 mm film are moving image media and hence produce a very different quality of image.

Many art historians still refer to slide-based artworks as slide-tape. This term dates from the 1970s when magnetic audio-tapes in cassette format were used to store a tone that cued slide changes alongside the audio track or spoken word accompanying the images.

Information About the different slides in your Slide Collection

The image advertisements many movie theaters show before the movies are usually, projected 35mm slides. Below, you will find some of the different types of slides:

135 Slide (35mm Slide)126 “Instamatic” Slide

35mmSlide

127 Super Slide

127-slide

126 Slide

126-slide

110 Slide

110-slide

old “3D” or “Stereo” slides

3dslide-cardboard

Medium Format, 120  slide

medium-formatLarge Format Slide Transparency

large-format

Airequipt slides

slide_types_10_metal

Glass Slides

slide_types_09b_glass

150 years old Mark Twain stories uncovered by the scholars

Twain’s articles, about 150 years old, written when the author was a young newsman in San Francisco,have been tracked down by the Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley.

Author Mark Twain(via AP)
Author Mark Twain(via AP)

Twain’s job was to write a 2,000-word story or letter every day for publication in the Territorial Enterprise newspaper in Virginia City, Nevada, six days a week for a salary of $100 a month. He wrote about everything from San Francisco police to mining accidents. The scholars picked through archives of other western U.S. newspapers for copies. They have found about 110 columns written in 1865 and 1866.

“This is new stuff, even for Mark Twain fans,” Hirst told the Chronicle. Bob Hirst is editor of the UC Berkeley’s Mark Twain project and says the articles were found when looking through western newspaper archives.

In one letter, Twain suggested tough punishment for corrupt police officers in San Francisco, saying they were less useful than “wax figurines,” as reported by the Chronicle.

Hirst said that the articles were written at a time of when Twain was trying to decide in which direction to take his career. “It’s really a crisis time for him,” Hirst said. “He’s going to be 30 on 30 November 1865, and for someone not to have chosen a career by that time in this period was quite unusual.” He was in debt and drinking heavily, and even wrote to his brother that he was committing suicide, saying: “If I do not get out of debt in three months – pistols or poison for one – exit me.”

The articles are the perfect example of Twain’s matchless style.

Bob Hirst, the general editor of the Mark Twain Project, with a book of 1866 Sacramento Union newspapers at the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley. (Jeff Chiu/AP)
Bob Hirst, the general editor of the Mark Twain Project, with a book of 1866 Sacramento Union newspapers at the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

New online archive features rare African photos

 

100,000 original Black and white negatives, dating back from 1940’s, of Mali’s most famous photographers, will be digitised using a $300,000 National endowment for the Humanities grant.

The archive features family portraits and photos of military activities, diplomatic visits, political events, national monuments, architecture, cultural and religious ceremonies and other aspects of popular culture.

Candace keller, assistant professor of African art history and visual culture, is collaborating with MSU’s MATRIX: The centre for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and the Maison Africaine de la Photographie in Bamako, Mali, to create the Archive of Malian Photography by digitising and restoring the negatives thereby protecting them from further damage.

Access will be provided only to the low-resolution photos making them unusable in print but still useful for research and scholarship and protecting photos from further exploitation. “These photos have the potential to shape the way photographic history and cultural practice in West Africa are taught and studied since the concepts displayed go beyond what we’re used to seeing: village-based lifestyles,” said Keller.

Keller’s current two-year project is the second phase of the Archive of Malian Photography project. She and her team have already digitised 28,000 Malian photos using a grant from the British Library Endangered Archives Programme.

 

Negatives from Malian photographer Abdourahmane Sakaly’s collection being processed for Michigan State University’s Archive of Malian Photography.
Negatives from Malian photographer Abdourahmane Sakaly’s collection being processed for Michigan State University’s Archive of Malian Photography.

Courtesy: Michigan State University

Digitised collection of historical NYPD crime scene photos to be available online

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has photographed crime scenes of traffic accidents, parades, or public events almost since the technology was available. A new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will support the digitisation of around 30,000 of these photographs from 1914 to 1975, making them available to the public for the first time. All these photos were stored in boxes after the conclusion of cases and stored away out of sight in a basement.

In 2012, the New York City Municipal Archives released 870,000 pictures online of the total of 2.2 million photographs, videos, audio files, and other material to be made viewable for public.

Some might seem strangely familiar to those taken by the famous well known crime photographer Weegee. For example, a NYPD shot of murder victim Dominick Didato on Elizabeth Street in 1936 focuses on the gun on the pavement and the blood stains on his back, while the more artistically inclined Weegee angled toward the blood splatter seeping from the body. One of the more unassuming photographs, of a murdered girl’s bedroom in the Bronx in 1939, may give you chills: it has an eerie doll posed on the bed. Others show protests at Columbia University in the 1960s and police burning “indecent” books in 1935 at their Manhattan headquarters.

If all goes according to schedule, the prints will be scanned starting in July 2015 and will be made available for viewing shortly afterwards through the Municipal Archives Online Gallery.

A-three-in-one-weapon-obtained-by-police-officers..jpg
A-three-in-one-weapon-obtained-by-police-officers..jpg
 Doll on the bed of Virginia Bender at East 137th Street in the Bronx. It was here where she was found dead from apparent strangulation and stabbing. (June 1939) (courtesy New York City Municipal Archives).jpg

Doll on the bed of Virginia Bender at East 137th Street in the Bronx. It was here where she was found dead from apparent strangulation and stabbing. (June 1939) (courtesy New York City Municipal Archives).jpg

Why some customers are disappointed

Some customers are disappointed with the results because over time celluloid film deteriorates and nothing can be done to save the images. The cellulose nitrate, cellulose diacetate and tri-acetate within the film are all unstable mediums, and can deteriorate much faster than many photographs or other visual presentations. Cellulose nitrate releases nitric acid which adds to the decomposition. In the final stages the film turns into a rust-like powder giving off a strong odour of vinegar. If the films are stored in damp conditions they can become unwatchable in in the space of a few years, so act now to have your old films digitised by ScanCorner and save these memories to DVD.

Undeveloped 31 rolls of film shot by an American WWII Soldier discovered and restored

Over 70 years ago during WWII, an unknown soldier captured 31 rolls of film throughout his service. These were recently discovered by photographer Levi Bettweiser, the man who founded the Rescued Film Project. Bettweiser works with the Rescued Film Project, an online archive gallery of images that were captured on film between the 1930’s and late 1990’s. Each image in their archive was rescued from found film from locations all over the world, and came to them in the form of undeveloped rolls of film.

Bettweiser discovered a lot of 31 undeveloped film rolls dating back to WWII with labels Boston harbor, La Havre Harbor, Lucky Strike Camp and various location names, at an auction in Ohio.

When Bettweiser originally encountered the 31 rolls of films, they were enclosed in a plastic bag. He says that although many of the rolls were too damaged to develop, the majority of them resulted in wonderful images. In several different shots, a single unidentified soldier appears and he suspects that this may be the photographer who lent his camera to others to get the shots of himself.

In an Interview, Levi reveals, “The rescued WWII film is truly unique from anything else we’ve rescued so far, which currently is over 5,500 images and counting. I think the fact that these images are documenting a large historical event that impacted so many people really creates a sense of intrigue with anyone viewing them.”

Rescued Photo Film Project WWII
Rescued Photo Film Project WWII
Rescued Photo Film Project WWII
Rescued Photo Film Project WWII
Rescued Photo Film Project WWII
Rescued Photo Film Project WWII

Check out more photos at: The Rescued Film Project

Digitised collection of American historic currency

Smithsonian Institution announced that they were looking for volunteers to help them digitise their collection thereby giving a chance for the public to interact with these proofs and to unleash the history from the thousands of historical documents.

Under its recent project, rapid capture digitisation project, the institute is working on digitising the currency proofs. The rapid capture technique applied for digitisation has cut the total turnaround time which would otherwise take a year or more. This new collection of currency proofs will lead to new understanding about the history.

 

bank note proof
Via the Smithsonian Institute

The National Museum of American History has 139 pages of certified currency proofs of the District of Columbia that need to be transcribed. The contents of each proof contains a multitude of information that gives an apt portrait of America from 1863-1935. The notes in the collection were saved at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing until the early ’70s, where they were transferred to the Smithsonian. The Institute’s Division of Numismatics holds about 350,000 proofs of currency, bonds, revenue stamps, checks, commissions, awards, food stamps, and food coupons.”

For this project, transcribers have completed 6,561 pages, each with information about what bank and city the sheet is from, what date the original plate was made, and other numismatic details.

“We have unlocked the ability to do this efficiently and at a price that was unheard of before,” Rahaim adds. “Digitising a whole collection, it was an abstract concept, but these processes are now making that a reality.”