Historic documents speak volumes of the past and highlight unique periods and events in history. It is necessary to digitize these documents and preserve them in standard formats via digitization and document conversion. However, this is not an easy task because many of these may be handwritten, with old-fashioned/complex writing styles. Images present may be of poor quality owing to the age of the documents and poor storage conditions. Cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, and historical societies have a lot of such valuable ancient documents and artefacts. Digitization of archival material provides improved access and education to scholars, students or any interested persons from anywhere in the world. Automation helps in overcoming the shortage of space and preserving the integrity of historic documents.
Preserving Documents of Enduring Historical Value
For example, Sacramento State is digitizing their historical letters from II World War and other valuable documents to digital form for preserving the past. These comprise letters and documents from a period when 120, 000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned at 10 remote camps across America. These are now stored at 13 state universities. Most of the 4000 documents to be digitized are connected with the 5121 internees taken from Sacramento.
- The project is expected to provide clear information about the plight of the Japanese Americans who were sent to prison on counts of their “treachery, faithlessness, and untrustworthiness.”
- Provide information about the daily life of the camp residents via diaries, and letters.
- It will present the national story of American citizens who were denied their constitutional rights merely because they were of Japanese descent.
The Advantages of Digitizing Historical Artefacts
Digitized files can be compressed, transferred, and retrieved over computer networks. Conversion of historical documents into digital form requires excellent expertise and modern technology including advanced scanners and document conversion software. Here are some of the other advantages.
- Usage of paper documents, which are difficult to manage and organize, can be reduced.
- Helps in preserving the valuable historical documents for future generations.
- Copies can be generated as required and protected.
- Prevents loss of data and loss/damage of original documents and photos among other materials.
- It enables access to anyone from anywhere at any time.
- The digitized materials can be shared among multiple users.
- Physical storage space can be considerably reduced.
- More accessibility to the required material for scholars, students and other end users. It can also be shared among various departments and universities.
Advanced Document Scanning Services for Improved Efficiency
Cultural institutions including museums and libraries have rare and unique documents and artefacts. Electronic conversion of these items provides greater access to a wider group of users, and this will bring together vast, disparate collections and may inspire new scholarly works. Any such historic digitization and document conversion project requires considerable thought and planning both professionally and technologically. Huge investment may be necessary in terms of equipment and staff. These projects can be more efficiently and speedily completed with the help of reliable document scanning and imaging services.