Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Microfilm to CD Rom

Sorry for the lack of posts but work has impacted by ability to blog. My company is in the middle of the our annual strategy development process and I am coordinating the process for my business unit. Enough about work.

I have also been busy on developing a roster of the First Maine Heavy Artillery. I have all the names, company, dates listed. I now want to add the information on age, height and occupation. To accomplish help accomplish this I just had the microfilm copies of the Regimental and Company books from the National Archives scanned and placed on CD-Rom. It was not a cheap endeavor but it was less costly then getting a Microfilm reader and a lot easy to use. I used a company called Get Imaging in Oklahoma City. They did a real nice job. The scans are clear and crisp. What is really nice is that they were able to reverse the negative image (black background / white text) that was on the microfilm to positive image (white background / black text). This makes it a lot easier to read. I had the microfilm made for me years ago by the National Archives and it makes me glad I did this when I did. When I look at condition of the originals you can really see the deterioration caused by age and I am sure less then ideal storage conditions.

Eric on his blog relates a story about a researcher he used was accused by the archives of damaging a muster roll. One look at these documents shows that many are about ready to fall apart on their own. I have made copies of the CD-Roms and will store the originals. I will most likely give the microfilms to Maine Historical Society or University of Maine.

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