Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Behind the Scenes... the Dark Room

This week our behind the scenes tour takes us into our Dark Room - the home of our Digitisation and Microfilming team, made up of John and Jonathan.

Our Digitisation and Microfilming team, John (back) and Jonathan (front)

What is digitisation?
Digitisation is the process of creating a digital copy of an item - whether that means taking a digital image of an old document, or capturing analogue audio in digital form


The work that takes place here is vital to the Record Office for a number of reasons:

Preservation
By creating high quality copies of documents we are able to reduce the need to access the original items. This is particularly important with frequently accessed items as over time a lot of damage can be done by handling them repeatedly; meaning the are unlikely to survive for future generations.




Increasing access to collections
By taking digital images of documents we are able to massively increase access to the information held in our collections, whether that is by making images available online, or by supplying users with images on CD Rom. Many of our users are from overseas and are unable to make the journey over to do research in person. Our digitisation service allows copies of our documents to be viewed in the United States, Canada, Australia and beyond!




Generating income
Our Digitisation Team are hugely important to us as they help to generate income to support the work of the Record Office. Along with orders received from our customers they also do work for external bodies. Recent big projects include digitising the parish registers held by Shropshire Archives and the digitisation of Kays Catalogues dating back to 1920, images of which can now be viewed online here.

Visit our website to find out more about our Digitisation service and how to order copies.

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