Genealogy-specific digitalization services?
July 15, 2014 6:08 PM   Subscribe

How can I help my dad digitize his extensive collection of genealogical documentation?

My dad is a genealogy nut. His basement represents dozens (possibly hundreds) of binders containing historical documents (original and photocopied), small artifacts (e.g. war medals), and extensive records describing/indexing as such. I find it profoundly uninteresting, but let's take that off the table for the moment. What concerns me is the eggs-in-one-basket thing, where a fire or a flood could destroy decades of work that can never be reproduced. Also, I suspect he has the same fear.

If it's remotely reasonable from a financial and personal effort perspective, I would like to find a service that would be able to comb through those documents and digitize them (with guidance, if they're patient with ornery, tech-unsavvy clients); at a minimum for archival purposes, but if it can be normalized into some sort of useful, standardized data schema then all the better.

How would I go about finding such a service? And if such a thing is very uncommon, how would I go about finding and vetting someone who could perform it as a custom thing? Very VERY roughly, what might I expect to pay (per hour or per project)?
posted by Riki tiki to Technology (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best thing would be getting a nice DSLR (with a sharp prime lens) and a copy stand setup and he can do it himself. This way it doesn't have to leave the house, you can use backblaze or some other offsite backup service. Simplest would be to save them into folders which match the current physical box/binder labels, then you can use a program like iMatch or Daminion to further organize it.
Another advantage of this is that he can play with UV and Infrared and filters to help restore damaged originals.
posted by Sophont at 8:40 PM on July 15, 2014

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