Author Topic: Digitisation at National Archives  (Read 479 times)

Offline mckha489

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Digitisation at National Archives
« on: Sunday 03 October 21 05:33 BST (UK) »
If one orders a document to be digitised. Surely it should then show up in Discovery as having been done? 

Iíve got my images OK but it seems bizarre that they donít then change the catalogue.
Iíve always assumed that getting people to pay for things they want was a way of funding the digitisation work.

Side tracked to a friendís very interesting Norfolk families. MORGAN, PRATT, HORNOR, SUCKLING, GLEANE etc. And in London DOWNES, du CROZ, MORGAN (same MORGANs as the Norwich lot)

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Digitisation at National Archives
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 03 October 21 10:31 BST (UK) »
I very much doubt it, the work involved in cataloguing, indexing and storing random individual files would far outweigh the work involved in scanning that particular page again.
It may be different if a full collection or series was scanned but seldom for individual documents.
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Offline Dundee

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Re: Digitisation at National Archives
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 03 October 21 12:39 BST (UK) »
If one orders a document to be digitised. Surely it should then show up in Discovery as having been done? 

That is only Australia and New Zealand I think.  Once someone pays for a document it is available online to everyone for free.  I would think the the number of requests for digitisation would be far less than the UK National Archives.  There would be a lot of requests relating to 20th century immigration and WW2 service records but they are already catalogued and indexed.  It is actually quite interesting to go to the 'newly scanned records' link on NAA to see some of the random stuff that people have had digitised.

Debra  :)


Online Jebber

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Re: Digitisation at National Archives
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 03 October 21 13:36 BST (UK) »
I agree with Guy about the amount of work involved.

 Taking into account the age and history of the countries, there can be no comparison between The National Archives and Archives in Australia and New Zealand. 

The amount of documents held by TNA is tremendous, they are being added to all the time. It is much easier to digitise as things are received, than to  deal with the historical document. Back in the nineties there were boxes of records held covering over eighty miles of shelving, so a mammoth task.
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,† Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline Mean_genie

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Re: Digitisation at National Archives
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 03 October 21 18:26 BST (UK) »
Many document requests are for a page, or a selection of pages, within a file, and not the whole document eg divorce files, naturalisation certificates, and lots of other records that are catalogued in detail, but not digitised. As Guy said, hosting and flagging individual pieces in Discovery would be expensive and time-consuming; trying to do it for odd pages here and there would be insanely impractical!

Offline mckha489

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Re: Digitisation at National Archives
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 03 October 21 18:33 BST (UK) »
But if the document is already fully described in the catalogue, and then they take really high definition photographs of them, (for which one waits Ö)  it seems even more time consuming and inefficient to me for them to then throw away those images.  Plus from an archival point of view, it would mean those documents donít have to be handled again.

I suppose the limiting factor might be server space.  Seems a shame though.
Side tracked to a friendís very interesting Norfolk families. MORGAN, PRATT, HORNOR, SUCKLING, GLEANE etc. And in London DOWNES, du CROZ, MORGAN (same MORGANs as the Norwich lot)

Offline Mean_genie

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Re: Digitisation at National Archives
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 03 October 21 19:54 BST (UK) »
It wouldn't save the document being handled again if only part of it was being copied. I get your point, but the record-copying staff have enough to do as it is without all the extra work that would be involved - there is already a limit on the number of orders they can deal with each day, to avoid a backlog building up.

A lot of images are kept, though. If they have been copied by the Image Library, there are tens of thousands of very hi-res (publication quality images - a friend of mine used a couple of them in a book), so those documents don't need to be re-photographed, and a lot of them are posters or photographs, which need particularly careful handling https://images.nationalarchives.gov.uk/assetbank-nationalarchives/action/viewHome