More and more premier institutions are digitizing their paper archives to preserve their valuable material for future generations and Louisiana State University (LSU) is among the latest in the list.
LSU’s Hill Memorial Library has decided to digitize its exhaustive content of precious student newsletters from 1897 to 2001. Known as The Reveille, the newsletter issues are stored in bound books as well as microfilm.
With digitization, the Reveille archives would become searchable throughout the online database of the exhaustive Louisiana Digital Library. With over 144,000 items in its online database, the library is an exhaustive collection of valuable material.
Additional Processes add to Cost
One big hurdle is the cost which is expected to be in the region of $100,000. This is mainly dues to the additional processes involved. While newspaper digitization is typically done directly from microfilm, this will not be possible in this case as the Reveille microfilm is not in good condition. Most of copies of the Reveille newspaper are printed on acidic paper which is discoloring and disintegrating. Digitization will preserve the paper, capturing the entire text, photos, advertisements, and layout.
The additional processes required to microfilm each issue again before it is scanned and digitized directly from the original print versions, will make this project an expensive one.
However, the venture is considered to be worth the money since the world would be able to browse the entire Reveille database with more than 144,000 unique historical treasures which includes the Louisiana institution’s archives, libraries, museums, and other public repositories in the state. The public will be able to visualize the well known Reveille story.
This ambitious endeavor recognizes the fact that content must be online to remain visible. Digitization will allow the Reveille archives to get positioned for the modern age. Every headline and article will now be searchable. The print and microfilm versions of The Reveille would be retained too. Once the funding, the entire digitization process is expected to take around six months to complete.
Outsourcing is an ideal option when it comes to massive or high volume digitization projects. A proper document scanning system is essential to the entire process. An efficient document conversion company will have the latest versions of the hardware and software tools necessary for the successful execution of the task.
Advanced software programs have made scanning more efficient and convenient. Scanning can even be done directly from Mac OS or Windows, while Adobe Acrobat and Word offer basic scanning tools. Some tools enable the use of smartphone camera for image capture. Professional document scanning companies will know which option to use for the project at hand.
One of the big influences in modern document scanning has been cloud storage. This has saved the trouble of managing local storage for scanned documents and also dealing with the online archives.