by Shana Scott
The first Thursday in November is World Digital Preservation Day (WDPD). This year that falls on November 3rd. WDPD is a way to celebrate digital preservation’s contributions to the archival community. If you’d like to join in the celebration, the Digital Preservation Coalition has lots of suggestions and ways to participate and share what digital preservation has done for you.
In honor of WDPD, we wanted to share some of the ways digital preservation has helped our clients make the most out of their collections.
Oakland Cemetery had a problem: their books were falling apart. Record keeping is an important part of a cemetery. The last thing anyone wants is to lose track of where someone is buried or sell the same lot twice. But those records have to last decades, if not centuries, and some of Oakland’s oldest lot books were quite literally falling apart. It was only a matter of time before the books were unusable.
Anderson Archival was the solution. We carefully digitized their collection, allowing them to use the digital copies in place of the physical books moving forward. The physical books can now be kept safe and avoid any additional deterioration from constant use.
Zooming into the Past
During the height of the pandemic, Rosemary Cassie brought us a collection of letters written by her father during the Korean War. The letters were a way to keep a connection to her late parents and she wanted to share that connection with her family. Once the letters were digitized, she was able to share a part of her family history that otherwise would have been available only to a limited number of people. Thanks to this, her family was able to connect over Zoom to talk and engage, even if they couldn’t meet in person.
Adopting New Ways to Search
Cayuga Centers knew they wanted to digitize their collection of records going back more than 150 years in order to preserve the physical books, but the new digital files gave them a lot more than they expected.
Cayuga’s collection of adoption and fostering records was a great source for genealogists searching for information on family members cared for by Cayuga over the years, but searching the books was labor intensive and didn’t guarantee results. One researcher found that searching the digital files made it faster and easier to search for the information he couldn’t find flipping pages.
Digital preservation is helping the archival community create new possibilities for preservation, access, and efficient utilization of physical collections.
No matter why you need to digitize your collection or how you’ll end up using it, Anderson Archival can help with all your digitization needs. Happy World Digital Preservation Day!