The work we wrote about a couple of weeks ago is finished! We’ve digitized ARK’s written records. We started March 21, and after 17 working days with 3-4 working hours per day we were finally finished on April 8. We’ve accumulated 87 GB worth of images, consisting of approximately 13 000 documents and a number of photographs.

We delivered most of the documents for safekeeping at the Student Society’s archive yesterday, which leaves LA3WUA’s closet open for stuff he would like to store that aren’t ARK’s documents.

Our scanning method was primarily designed for scanning flat, single-paper documents, for which it was well suitable.

Øyvind has pushed the camera button 13 000 times, and his doctor has advised an extended vacation for his finger.

Most of the material was of this nature, but we also had some books, and worse, photoalbums.

The scanning of books seems to be an art by itself, but we were mostly able to make do with what we had. The non-uniformity of the light source becomes a bit more apparent due to the page curvature, and purists would probably scoff at our varying illumination levels, but we’re satisfied with the readability and the minimization of the work effort. All in all: good enough.

Just joking about the readability, everything is hand-written.

As for the photographs, most old black-and-white photographs were captured with good quality. We might want to rescan with more suitable equipment in order to obtain higher resolution and avoid specular reflection in some of the more glossy photographs, but this was mostly surprisingly good.

A page from the original manuscript of the book “ARK 52 år – en historie med slagside”.

The color pictures were not that well reproduced, however. The colors and detail level were not captured that well, and we had some specular reflections from the light source. We definitely want a rescanning of the photographs with more suitable scanning equipment for photography at some point in time.

In any case, we’ve satisfied the main goal: We have viewable scans of everything, which we were able to do rather quickly. We can organize the digital copies and be able to know what kind of photos we have available, and what we might be bothered to take better scans of in the future.

We threw away a lot of these, since the documents were moved over to rather safer acid-free archival boxes.
LA3WUA could finally make use of his kitchen table again after three long weeks.

The next step will be to tag and run OCR on the machine-written material and make it searchable.