NYHIST-L Archives

November 2001


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Don Rittner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Nov 2001 14:33:47 -0500
text/plain (54 lines)
I respectfully don't agree.  From the poor quality of microfilm that I have
seen and used converting to a good quality digitized version just doesn't
cut it, especially images.  Making one bad microfilm does not justify any
expense in my book.

I don't understand what you mean by hardware dependent.  All of the leading
OCR packages except for Laserfiche are cross platform - they run on PC or
Mac and not that expensive.  I still use an old version of Omnipage and it
works fine.  If a version is 90% accurate vs 95% I don't think that
qualifies for an additional expenditure.  Once a product goes to 100%
efficiency then I would consider buying the upgrade.

And digitally formatting IS a one time cost.  A TIFF file is a TIFF file. If
you want to convert it to JPG, PS, or any other format (or like color to
grayscale and vice versa) there are free or shareware conversion programs
like graphicConverter, etc. that will do that job.

The bottom line is a digital reproduction is close a thing to the real as
possible.  And in fact, I will go out on the limb and say that in some cases
it is better than the original. I am working with a digital house now on
some experiments on this and will be writing a paper about it.  To give you
one case, I took a rare 1803 map and had it digitized and printed from the
digital.  The digital printed version brought out pencil remarks and
corrections that had faded and was NOT evident on the original.  By having
the ability to alter the contrast of a digital version you can bring out
faded text or features.  Try to do that with microfilm.


> From: "Pullen, Sharon" <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: "A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State
> history." <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 09:12:42 -0500
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: providing online
> The idea that digitally formatting something is a one-time cost is not
> valid.  Digitization is currently too software/hardware dependent to be a
> one-time expense. There are constant upgrades, migrations, etc. that become
> necessary.  Microfilm, on the other hand is a one-time expense and can be
> used as a basis for digitization, so as far as expense, it is still the most
> cost-effective method of preservation.
> Sharon A. Pullen, CA
> Suffolk County Archivist
> Historical Documents Library
> Office of the County Clerk
> 310 Center Drive
> Riverhead, NY 11901-3392
> Phone: 631-852-2015
> Email: [log in to unmask]