Endangered archives blog

News about the projects saving vulnerable material from around the world

2 posts from July 2011

15 July 2011

IMPACT project demo day

Earlier this week Lynda and I attended a demonstration day for the IMPACT project (Improving Access to Text). Funded by the European Commission, the project has investigated the issues facing mass digitisation projects, specifically those working with historical documents.

The demonstration day provided an overview of the project, and gave participants the opportunity to see some of the project-developed tools in action.

In the morning two demonstrations were given from a suite of tools intended to prepare digitised images for Optical Character Recognition (OCR): a tool for border removal, and one for correcting geometric errors like page curl.

The afternoon session involved an in depth discussion about the development of lexical resources to improve OCR accuracy and search capability. Beginning with an introductory talk for non-experts, the session highlighted tools developed to address potential obstacles to accurate OCR, such as the need to identify and accommodate historical spelling variations.

The IMPACT project will be hosting a conference in October to formally launch the project resources and a Centre for Competence, which will provide advice and guidance and share best practice. Slideshow presentations from the demo day can be found on the IMPACT project blog.



06 July 2011

June Accessions

In June we received more material from projects EAP219 and EAP254 (for the fourth month in a row), as well as material from EAP121 Preserving the Archives of the United National Independence Party of Zambia. We have just begun to catalogue the material from this project, starting with the records of the African National Congress of Zambia (ANC), which are held at the UNIP archives. The catalogue is based on an inventory list created by the EAP121 project holders, which will be expanded upon to create a more detailed finding aid.

June also saw the arrival of material from project EAP027 Rescuing Liberian history: preserving the personal papers of William V. S. Tubman, Liberia's longest serving President.


Tubman was President of Liberia from 1944 to 1971, and the beginning (1944-51) and end (1961-) of his administration are heavily documented in the collection. A team from Indiana University recovered the collection and have worked on its conservation, arrangement and description. The EAP funded the creation of microfilm surrogate copies, which were later digitised.