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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Newspaper Preservation

Not Fade Away ... How Robots Are Preserving Our Old Newspapers

In a Yorkshire outpost of the British Library, archivists using the latest conservation technology are racing to digitise 300 years of newspapers before they crumble to dust – and that’s just for starters.

Nicola Davis | July 5, 2015

...It was a team effort. After developing techniques with a test model, conservators at the LMA carefully increased each page’s humidity to swell and soften the material. The creases were partially puffed out with padding, and the folio held fast with magnets as it dried. Then the researchers from UCL set to work. “For each folio, they took lots of different images and then stitched them together in a sort of 3D model,” explains Smith. “Then, that’s what they manipulated to try to digitally flatten the sheets.” As the virtual parchments unfurled, the spidery scrawl of officialdom became accessible for the first time in more than 200 years.
...There’s plenty of work to be done. A study in 2014 found that, on average, only 17% of collections in heritage institutions across Europe has been digitised in some form.

<more at; related link: (British Library enlists robots for new low oxygen newspaper archive) ["Once the collection moves in 2014, humans will be locked out and requested papers will be delivered by a robotic shelving system."]>

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