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The Importance of Digital Conservation

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The Importance of Digital Conservation

Historical records and documents hold the key to an unimaginable amount of knowledge. The early modern period of 1500 – 1800 saw a surge in the keeping of records, and since then the world has accumulated masses of archive texts and materials. Museums, galleries and historians use these to inform and provide insight into the word we once lived in, as we continue to create more for future generations to come. Such documents are also of great importance to the general public and students searching for legal facts, historic records or simply to find out their family histories.

The basis of all research that has formed what we know to be true today, started off by looking at what happened in the past. What would happen then if these documents were unavailable in the future?

Hard to hold, hard to find

Historical documents from the past were not built to last. To view many old papers, books and so on extreme care is required when handling the delicate and brittle paper fibres that have deteriorated over time. That is, if you have been granted access to these archives at all. There are no ‘re prints’ of a document from centuries ago, so finding the location of each unique document needed can prove a challenging and arduous task. There are files and files of rare and informative documents that exist in our archives that are unattainable to many who need them, with further deterioration proving a risk to their existence at all.

Electronic Document Archiving

Electronically scanning and storing these historical materials could prove to be the perfect solution. After scanning each document, a software such as Halogen can archive each resulting image to build a library that is easily searchable by simple text terms. Presented on a computer screen, the risk of physical damage is gone and each document can be easily viewed from any digital device.

Post processing software can restore each book, image, paper or manuscript to a quality that is surprisingly close to its original state, if not better.

Digitally conserving historic materials is an important step in ensuring that future generations can enjoy the depths of information from the past in a variety of ways, and holds the key to the continuation of such vital knowledge transfer. At Pearl Scan, we offer document scanning and archiving services that can make this vision easily achievable.

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