Friday, August 14, 2009

From Mary Lawler: South Hadley Historical Society Votes to Move Forward With Digital Archiving

From: Mary Lawler
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 2:30 PM
To: Bob Judge
Subject: Blog Post

South Hadley Historical Society Votes to Move Forward With Digital Archiving

At the August 12, 2009, meeting of the Executive Committee, it was voted unanimously to appropriate funds and move forward with digital archiving.

The need for The Firehouse Museum collections to be digitized is growing, not for the institution itself but for the ability to share information and images with other historical societies, libraries, universities, and repositories. What the South Hadley Historical Society has in its possession has great value, that is, the information the collection holds for the residents of South Hadley, students, genealogists, and historians.

Digitizing the collection will protect the information and images should they be lost, damaged, or destroyed. The real failure would be not to capture material now, that we will wish we captured, later. A foundation for this undertaking has already been laid, as over 400 items have been archived, numbered, and stored over the years and that information is in both hard copy and digital form. That represents a small portion of the items and documents that are still to be recorded.

Every object in the Society’s possession will be photographed, identified, described, numbered, and digitally archived for sharing on the web. In addition, all documents and photographs will be scanned and prepared for digital archiving and preservation. Items in the collection that will not stand the test of time will have their image and history preserved. The challenge will be to upgrade computer software systems as they are developed to keep the digital records accessible as new technology and formats are developed. With our feet firmly planted in the Information Age, it is the Society's responsibility to ensure that the collection in the possession of the Society is not only digitized and protected but also accessible to sister institutions and the public.


john said...

This archival project is well worth while and long overdue.

John Z. said...

This archival project is well worth the time required to accomplish it and is long overdue.