Pearl Document Scanning Blog

News and updates related to the document scanning industry.

Digital Archive Makes Historic Wills Available to View Online

Backlog scanning is one of the services that Pearl Scan offer to companies in Manchester, London, Birmingham and throughout the UK.

41 million wills registered in England and Wales dating back to 1858 have been digitised and made available online in a Government backed scheme to help people find out more about their ancestry and the lives of historical figures.

This digitising project, run by HM Courts and Tribunals service, has created an entirely digital archive which can be accessed for a small fee by anyone around the world wishing to view specific wills.

Among the archives are the wills of authors Charles Dickens, AA Milne and George Orwell. Dickens requested in his will not to be the subject of any “monument, memorial or testimonial whatsoever”, a request that has been broken not once but three times since his death in 1870. AA Milne is said to have left his fortune to a London club and his former school in Westminster while Orwell wanted his manuscripts preserved.

These newly digitised will open up a fascinating world for us to explore. Particularly interesting for us up here at our Manchester office was the inclusion of the will of Alan Turing. The ‘father of computer science’ has many memorials in the city and his will briefly shared his possessions between his mother and a few close colleagues.

Aside from well-known historical figures, this digital archive will also give the general public paid access to the wills of their relatives. So, rather than having to visit a probate registry, the documents can be requested and received online in the 10 day period instead.

This news once again proves the value of digitising to preserve the future of valuable information. Back in 2013, the wills of WW1 soldiers were also digitised to safeguard the pieces of history previously stored as physical copies in temperature controlled rooms.

Pearl Scan archives digitisation service

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Here at Pearl Scan, we offer a completely bespoke archives digitisation service so whether you want to scan books, manuscripts, newspapers or fragile documents, we can provide the perfect solutions for you. We have the facilities to scan a wide range of projects to produce high quality, text searchable images, perfect for digital archives. Fragile items are treated with the utmost care and all scanned images are put through extensive quality checks before delivery.

If you would like some more information on the archives scanning service we offer, get in touch today to speak to a member of our dedicated and experienced team. For a free, no obligation quote for your scanning project, complete our online request a quote form.

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All UK Oil Paintings Online Thanks To BBC Scheme


All UK oil paintings onlinetThanks to BBC scheme

At the end of 2012, A UK charity collaborated with the BBC to complete the enormous task of getting all the UK's oil paintings online via their project Your Paintings.

Your Paintings was a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a registered charity) and participating collections and museums from across the UK. The venture saw 212,000 oil paintings, including artwork by the likes of Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso and John Constable, digitised and put on display on the BBC's Your Paintings webpage.


While we speak a lot about digitising documents to create a paperless office, here we can see other great reasons to digitise. Not only does the process of digitising preserve the future of rare and delicate items but it also gives those who would not necessarily be able to go and view art access to it and can provide education tools to schools and homes across the UK.

We can now see that the long established institutes of Britain are getting on board with modernising. Along with the safety and security benefits of going digital, these companies are saving money, space and time in the process.

If you have a collection of paintings, photos or images that you want scanning, we at Pearl Scan can help. In the past, Pearl Scan digitised have the majority of the modern art collection at Manchester Art Gallery, so we know what we're doing. This also shows that the entertainment and education sector is another market interested in the benefits of going digital.

They can see the benefits, can you?

For more information on the scanning services we offer here at Pearl Scan, including scanning large format drawings and paintings and negatives scanning, get in touch today for a free, no obligation, quote for your scanning project.

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The Oldest Law in England- Now Available Online


The oldest law in England is now available online

Thanks to the digitisation of an ancient manuscript predating the Magna Carta by almost 100 years, one of the oldest laws in England can now be viewed online.

The entire medieval manuscript, Textus Roffensis, was scanned and put online by scientists at the University of Manchester. It contains 476 pages and 484 images in total. Dr Chris Monks of the University of Manchester believes the manuscript is "truly...unique" and the reaction to the new accessibility of the digital version seems to be largely positive.

Janet Wilkinson, librarian at the university said "The University of Manchester Library has long recognised the need to preserve its digital material, as well as print, for future generations...I am reassured that this significant piece of history will now survive for future research purposes."

The original manuscript was suffering some water damage having been thrown into a river around the early 1700s so it seems a very good solution to have the pages digitised to future proof it for many more years. With the digitised copy, there will no longer be a worry that if the manuscript is damaged beyond repair, the information and history it contains will be lost forever.

This news has reinforced the need to scan important documents and information to digital format to increase their accessibility for people who may not be able to get to the hard copy and also to safeguard the information for the future.

If you are interested in having your documents, manuscripts and much more scanned, or if you would like some more information on how you can have your documents scanned by Pearl Scan, get in touch today.