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THE COMMERCIAL RECORD HISTORIC PROJECTREPORT
The Tech Committee isproceeding nicely on the Commercial Record project. In the past month we haveexperimented with various techniques to create optimal digital images from theoriginal newsprint. Dick Haight has written custom software so hat we volunteers do less and the computerdoes more. Since there will be somewhere north of 100,000 pages, each aseparate digital file, seconds saved digitizing each page will have majorconsequences in total time.
We want to thank LauraDurham of Mill Pond Realty for generously providing the funding for our internErin Wilkinson. Erin is doing great work organizing and systemizing theCommercial Record project. Her computer background and systems experience havebeen especially valuable. She is enrolled at Grand Valley this fall but livesin Saugatuck and will continue to work part time supervising the process.
A brief description ofwhere we are currently; We have started with the oldest papers first - July of1868 - and have completed the first four years. As we finish each year we willcreate CDs containing all the pages, issue by issue - copies for SDHS, the S-DLibrary, the Commercial Record, and for back up.
These CDs will be availableto view. Besides reading them for fun and historic research they will be usedto create a searchable index. Dick Haight has now turned to developing thesoftware and designing a system to create the index. For now this is a projectin progress but we will soon be seeking volunteers not only to help with thedigitization but to help develop the index by reading the papers on a computerscreen and extracting keyword information. This should be a challenging job forsome of you serious history buffs! Stay tuned.
To give you a peek at what the paper looks like wehave created a montage of articles appearing in the fall of 1868. My how timeshave changed. Or have they?