Museums and Historical Societies

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Preserving History

Museum and historical society administrators have come to learn that insourcing wide format scanning and printing not only saves time, money and reduces costly errors, but can also provide an invaluable opportunity to reduce the risk of damaging historic or vintage documents. Scanning documents in-house reduces the risk of damage or destruction, not only during the scanning process itself but also during the periods when documents are transported and stored off-site. Our wide format scanning and printing experts can help you choose the right scanning and printing solution for your particular requirements and we can setup a maintenance and repair schedule to ensure that your equipment remains in premium working condition, reducing the risk involved with scanning valuable and fragile documents.

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Why do museums and historical societies collect public donations?

Before the age of digitization, written records were the major form of documentation. A family’s letters, diaries, journals, and unpublished writings are very useful to researchers. They use this information to delve into the history of particular families, communities, businesses, and organizations. Many of the documents researchers are given can even help us understand more about the United State’s history. So the next time you uncover your old family documents and photographs, consider how they might be of value to historical societies to help them discover more about your community, state, and country.

What kind of personal documents do museums and historical societies collect?

Most repositories accept the following personal items for historical and administrative research. This list pertains to digital versions of the items. Also, not all of these items may be accepted by all researchers. In addition to the list, any files relating to an individual’s civic, religious, business, political, and social activities are also accepted.

  • Letters & emails
  • Memoirs
  • Diaries & blogs
  • Scrapbooks & photo albums
  • Professional papers
  • Genealogical information
  • Speeches & lectures
  • Articles & essays
  • Legal documents
  • Minutes & reports
  • Brochures & fliers
  • Awards & certificates
  • Photographs (with subjects and locations identified)
  • Films/videos/audio tapes (including identifying information)


How can you ensure that your digital archives are properly curated?

Digital archives require a different level of care, and thus different procedures, compared to physical archives when it comes to preservation and cataloging. To help ensure that all historical societies properly curate their digital archives, guidelines have been put into place.

To learn more about these guidelines, please click here.

What types of scanners would work best for museums and historical societies?

Museums & historical societies look foremost for clarity in a scanner and ease of use. Since more than one person operates the equipment it should have a user friendly format. The flatbed type gives both flexibility and ease of use. A computer program interface that is not overly complex is a plus with staff who will train to use the product purchased. A high optical resolution is also required in order to produce high quality results.

Some scanners can scan in an upright position and they work well to duplicate and provide maximum preservation. A really good option to look for is if scanners have an option for adjustable height or can be moved to different a different location.

How can you ensure proper access to digital information?

Proper identification should be mandatory when accessing any digitized media in order to preserve its content and it should be saved in a platform that cannot be edited. A secure login may also be required, and a profile for this login, which also provides proof of address.