Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Copiers and Scanners

Among the many family history documents and artifacts that I have received from Grammy, I found the following typed note:
The following is transcription of a piece that my grandmother, Amanda Jane Perryman Collins, wrote many years ago.  The document was in my possession for years.  Then I made a typed copy and sent the original to my uncle, Ray Collins.  That was before the days of easy photocopying.  Several years ago, 1984 or 1985, I was able to obtain the original document again and have since made a photocopy.  The original was written on cheap tablet paper and did not copy well because of yellowing and disintegration.  However, having the original document plus research enabled me to read it with more understanding concerning names etc.  Research has shown that not everything is correct but even that gives worthwhile clues.  As near as possible spelling, etc., is as it was in the original document.  I have added punctuation in some cases to make it easier to understand.
In this day, having a quality scanned copy of a document or photo is almost as good as having the original.  When you have the original, one of the first things you want to do is scan it anyway!

Photocopiers are great.  They provide an easy way to get the entire context of a document that you can’t physically possess.  They also allow you to make a copy to highlight and markup; you certainly wouldn’t want to mark on the original.  But the quality of standard black-and-white photocopies gets worse with each copy.  A copy of a copy of a copy of a copy might not even be readable, especially if the original photocopy was made with earlier copier technology.

But scanners are even better!  Now I can make a digital copy for myself, share it with relatives, and attach the image to my family tree.

I am very thankful for scanners.

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