Looking for ideas for photo and document scanning, storage, and translation
November 24, 2010 10:10 AM Subscribe
Best practices for scanning, care, and storage of old documents and photos?
posted by elizardbits to technology (8 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
In cleaning out my late mom's apartment, I have come across a seriously vast collection of old (and never before seen by me, dammit mom) photos and documents, some of which are over 100 years old. They've been stored willy-nilly in envelopes and cardboard boxes in hot, stuffy closets, and while most of them are in surprisingly good shape, some are extremely fragile/brittle (my great-great-grandparents' ketubah, ship manifests from the 1880s, &c).
This is a two part question, I guess.
First: I have access to a huge and amazing archival scanner at work, so I could potentially scan them all myself. The people who use the scanner have extensive training/experience in handling ancient parchment texts, so I think we could get this done without a lot of damage. However, there are roughly 20,000 photos. Yes. 20,000. And maybe about 200 or so documents. So I feel kind of dickish asking my coworkers to help me with this enormous non-work-related project. Anyway, I assume there are places that do this kind of thing all the time, right? Scan huge amounts of old stuff carefully and whatnot? What would be some good resources for this in either NYC or DC?
Second: Once I scan (or have someone else scan) everything, what is the best way to store the originals long-term? (I guess if I pay to have it done, the scanning people will probably be able to answer this for me.)
Okay, I lied, this is a three-part question: about 10k of the photos are of my dad's family in Hungary, and many of them have writing on the back. What would be the best way to go about having this all translated? There are, AFAIK, no family members alive who can help me with this. Again, resources in NYC or DC preferred but not absolutely necessary.