Sunday, October 01, 2006

Old documents preserved by scanning and burning to a CD

Over the summer of 2006, I taught my friend Nancy H. how to use the scanner and a cd burner at my art school so that she could create a digital copy of a very old photo/handwritten family tree archive. She is a descendent of the gentleman above, who, on May 10, 1907, used a timer and a glass-plate camera to make a portrait of himself working into the night on his labour of love.

One hundred years later, the wet black ink we see in that old photo is brown, the paper and photos brittle and fading. Nancy's objective was to have a copy for preservation and safety, and also to be able to provide the images in digitized form to another family member who is writing a history book. That project is now completed with her objectives achieved.


  1. this is a great idea!

  2. Thank you Nancy,

    I couldn't have done this without you. Despite the fact that I have used a computer for years at work, the scanning technology and work with photos was beyond my experience. It was so helpful to have someone who could help with the problem solving! I have shared these new discs with my father and the other family historians who are so pleased to have this book preserved. I think it was a lifetime's work for my grandfather to put it together; visiting old cemetaries in a Model T Ford, taking glass negative photos with his early camera. There is even a story about stopping by President Calvin Coolidge's family home to inquire about a local relative and chatting with the President on his porch. At any rate the 3 days it took to scan the old book has now preserved (I hope) this lifetime of work by my grandfather and others.

    Thank you from the whole family,
    Nancy H.