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  #1  
Old 09-28-2020, 04:30 AM
lake lake is offline
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How to Digitize Old Newspapers?

I have three boxes filled with old newspapers/clippings, and I want to preserve select pages (not the whole newspaper) from them (mostly examples of articles I've written and advertisements I've created). I'm tired of hauling these boxes around and storing them. Can anyone make any suggestions on how to go about digitizing select pages from them? They're mostly tabloid-sized (about 11x17) newspapers.

Would a regular copier/scanner do a decent job? Would my local library have a better scanner or other tool? Or maybe a FedEx Office store? Would it be best to send them away to some company that might specialize in this?

If anyone has any ideas or experience on archiving or preserving documents like this, I'd love to hear them. Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:35 AM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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If it was me, I'd prefer sending them off to be scanned by a company that specializes in that.

A local library could, and might get a kick out of doing work like that, but my fear is that if they mess up your project, there'd be little recourse.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:51 AM
GreekOne GreekOne is offline
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Most printing places like FedEX office or other similar locals stores have wide format copiers which can scan originals as wide as 36". They would certainly be able to scan your documents and give you a digital copy.

I would be more comfortable taking these type of items into a store myself than sending them off for fear of getting lost in transit.
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:41 PM
lake lake is offline
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Thank you, I do appreciate the input. It's challenging because the pages are such an awkward size (larger than normal). I'm leaning toward sending them off somewhere, but I don't want them to get lost or destroyed. Every time I've tried to scan them part of the page gets cut off. I have some more thinking to do...
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:53 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Plenty of places have large format copiers. Check around for copying services other than UPS, etc. There;s a place here in Birmingham that does that - Image Arts - check out their listing and see if you can find a similar place locally. Or maybe ask them if they know someone in your area.
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:10 PM
GreatGnat GreatGnat is offline
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Archivist here - If your local library has a good quality scanner, it'd probably be the cheapest and most accessible way for you to digitize your newspapers! A lot of public libraries do local history projects and they may even have staff on hand who can help.

In addition to digitizing, think about how you will care for the digital files once you have created them! The content management system Omeka has a free trial that holds a limited amount of data and has no time limit, and you can pay for a subscription. if your needs are more than what the free trial can provide. Consider saving all your images as TIFFs, rather than jpegs or pngs as those formats tend to be "lossy," i.e. they will degrade over time.

Digital formats are actually more fragile than physical artifacts, and having a CMS which can perform checksums and ensure fixity will save you a lot of heartache down the road! If you plan to simply save them to a drive or your computer, be sure to draft a loss-prevention plan and regularly check your files.

I know your motivation for digitization is to no longer have to worry about the physical copies, but I would encourage you to keep them as the paper copies are more stable and will likely outlast your digital surrogates!
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Old 09-28-2020, 08:49 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Is it possible or reasonable to laminate them?
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:36 PM
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honeychile honeychile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatGnat View Post
Archivist here - If your local library has a good quality scanner, it'd probably be the cheapest and most accessible way for you to digitize your newspapers! A lot of public libraries do local history projects and they may even have staff on hand who can help.

In addition to digitizing, think about how you will care for the digital files once you have created them! The content management system Omeka has a free trial that holds a limited amount of data and has no time limit, and you can pay for a subscription. if your needs are more than what the free trial can provide. Consider saving all your images as TIFFs, rather than jpegs or pngs as those formats tend to be "lossy," i.e. they will degrade over time.

Digital formats are actually more fragile than physical artifacts, and having a CMS which can perform checksums and ensure fixity will save you a lot of heartache down the road! If you plan to simply save them to a drive or your computer, be sure to draft a loss-prevention plan and regularly check your files.

I know your motivation for digitization is to no longer have to worry about the physical copies, but I would encourage you to keep them as the paper copies are more stable and will likely outlast your digital surrogates!
Excellent advice - especially the last paragraph!
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