Gosford library local history by Geoff PotterPresentation Transcript
Gosford Library goes digital Creating access to local history in relatively simple steps
Before we started Little Gosford local history online anywhere Hardcopy photographs either photocopied or specially ordered for customers Clunky systems for disseminating local history information Potential for damage to rare local history resources through repeated handling Many resources difficult to use in a range of formats including hardcopy, microfilm, fiche, realia
The beginning of digitisation Gosford area subdivision maps purchased on microfiche aperture cards from State Library. Identifying information added to card to help arrangement by locality e.g. Yow Yow Estate now part of Davistown This was an extremely useful exercise for a new Local Studies Librarian At this stage no digital use of this particular resource was contemplated or even imagined
What changed? Purchase of Canon MS 800 Microfilm Reader Scanner with CapturePerfect software. Easy to save scanned files to USB, and put through PDF writer before putting on web Range of possibilities revealed almost immediately Machine could scan from microfiche or film Black & White only, but much better than nothing!
A plan develops Permission sought from NSW State Library to digitise maps and place on web. Permission granted. Maps scanned at 300dpi + for clarity. This is adjustable on Canon machines using Captureperfect. Pdf Writer used to reformat scans for web use. Maps placed on web under Subdivision maps heading, with subheadings by modern suburb name. Many original names for subdivisions had little to do with later official suburb names. Maps can now be seen at: http://www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history/subdivision/index_html They make lovely placemats when laminated!
What next? Gosford and District in pictures database. A big project using a Searchtech platform. http://www.photosau.com.au/Gosford/scripts/home.asp Active creation of web resources, including placename lists, suburb histories etc. This aspect of local studies continues to today. Need recognised for digital copies of rare resources including tourist guides, historical council documents etc.
Tourist guide project Gosford has a long tourist history. Tourist guides often contain useful descriptive and advertising material. Many ephemeral guides published over years. Copyright has expired on those we digitise Access to originals poor, and damage can occur to fragile originals Digital access via web enables access across world. Information in object now available to all, while protecting original document. Tourist and local guides available at: http://www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history/Tourist%20Guides/index_html
Scanning tourist guides Flatbed scanner HP 4890 used very carefully…no forcing of spines. Images cleaned up later using HP supplied software. In one case where multiple copies of a work existed, the one in the worst condition was unbound to allow for ease of scanning Large documents split into ‘chapters’ to keep download sizes manageable e.g Erina Shire Holiday & Tourist Guide http://www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history/Tourist%20Guides/documents/erina-shire-holiday-and-touring-guide-1928
Gostalgia on Flickr Libraries often collect all manner of local ephemera and sometimes realia. These formats are generally difficult to make accessible. We feel that they hold potentially as much ‘information’ as traditional library materials. FlickrPro account offered possible way forward for under $30.00 per annum Gostalgia site created, using a fun mix of photographs, slide images, shop dockets, advertisements, labels and realia. Bottles, badges, souvenir china can now be included http://www.flickr.com/photos/gostalgiaGostalgia on Flickr also allows us to upload modern colour slides and scanned photos. Old Sydney Town is one of our most popular series. Most images have 2-3 tags from library staff, and the public have now begun tagging themselves. Great interactive resource. Easy and inexpensive. Since inception less that a year ago, site has received over 42,000 hits! Attribution non-commercial Creative Commons used. Sites across the world have picked up Gostalgia material for blogs, web art etc. http://moptopp.com/2010/08/02/restoring-faith/
What have we learned? Inexpensive, simple solutions for digitising resources can be available in-house, using relatively low tech methods Digitising is a great way to fulfil library charter of making local materials available Useful profile-raising tools within Community and Council Saves time and money while protecting rare resources. Staff don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time they get a research query. Very efficient…material can easily be attached to emails http://www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history for more of our resources Local Studies consistently tops the hit rate through our Council website, with over 50,000 hits in 2010. If you include Gostalgia that is over 90,000 hits in one year for Local Studies at Gosford.