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Volume: 1 | Article ID: art00026
Digital Solutions for Archival Family Records
  DOI :  10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2004.1.1.art00026  Published OnlineJanuary 2004

The onset of the information era and the general availability of both the global internet and sophisticated digital technologies have ushered in a consumer revolution in attitudes and needs so far as family history and archival records are concerned. Photography and family history constitute two of the world's most popular hobbies, and the latter represents one of the leading uses of the web. Whereas digital photography now offers convergence with other forms of digital records, the historical problem remains of the ‘shoe-box-in-the-attic’ syndrome, and the hoards of vintage family photographs awaiting future digitizing and restoration. Similarly, important family documents deteriorate in dusty storage archives. There is also the crucial but problematic question of individual ownership versus universal distribution within a given family or any defined group or corresponding circle.The author has approached the problem on a general basis, first by sampling the general consumer demand and existing practice, next by exploring various approaches based on this personal experience, and finally by bringing together a set of readily-available digital technologies to provide a satisfactory solution. This has involved technologies ranging from image-processing and photo-restoration, to document-scanning and desk-top publishing for complex document types. This present contribution describes things learned during this experience, and discusses the nature of overall solutions and generic formats that to date have proved satisfactory to a majority of consumers sampled within this field.

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Rodney Shaw, "Digital Solutions for Archival Family Recordsin Proc. IS&T Archiving 2004,  2004,  pp 112 - 116,

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