Monday, December 28, 2009

Digitizing the Past to Make it Searchable

The North Carolina State Archives have digitized 23,483 images of full newspaper pages from 1751 to 1898 and have made them keyword searchable.

Obviously this was a massive undertaking, even though a relatively small, but influential handful of papers were archived in this manner.

In addition to all of the wear, tear and copy quality questions one might easily imagine, the Charlotte Observer notes that the April 14, 1775, edition of the North Carolina Gazette was 52 pages long and completely handwritten, which had to have taken extra time and care.

I've spent a few minutes looking around the archives and once you learn that it's better to double-click to enlarge and the index is only a minor help, if you have any interest in the people, places or things from that era, the N.C. Digitization Project has made an effort against which all future endeavors could be measured.
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