The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

A Massive Machine for a Massive Job: Digitizing 55,000 Pages of China Trade Material

The Library Collections Services department is always a busy place, but this fall is an especially active time on the third floor.  As the behind-the-scenes arm of the library, our department is responsible for the acquisition, cataloging, processing, preservation, conservation, and digitization of our collections, but in addition to our regular ongoing digitization projects, we are playing host to a large-scale scanning project for the next four to five months. The MHS has contracted with Adam Matthew Digital, Ltd., a British publisher of digital collections sold to libraries, to supply somewhere in the neighborhood of 55,000 manuscript pages to a forthcoming multi-archive digital publication, China, America and the Pacific: Trade and Cultural Exchange.  Adam Matthew has contracted, in turn, with Luna Imaging in Los Angeles to do the scanning.  In late August, Luna shipped all of the equipment shown here and sent a representative to install and test it and train a scanning technician.  The technician, shown here, is now hard at work scanning correspondence, account books, ships’ logs, and letterbooks from multiple collections, including the extensive Forbes Family Papers.  Other highlights of the final product, scheduled for release in late 2013, will include the manuscript of Richard Henry Dana’s seminal work, Two Years Before the Mast, and Robert Haswell’s log of the Columbia-Rediviva, the first vessel to circumnavigate the globe

permalink | Published: Friday, 21 September, 2012, 8:00 AM


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