Scan-a-thon appreciation

Bernard, 30 November 2012 · # ·

I wrote a piece for Mosman Council’s website on the Open Day & Scan-a-thon held on 10 November. Librarians and volunteers felt it was a success, and we’ve had great feedback from those who brought in their treasures. We’ve also had a number of calls since the day, and more fascinating items brought in and promised!

“It was a very enjoyable day,” said Donna, our Local Studies Librarian. “A great vibe and I liked the fact that we had no idea how it would be and just went with the flow.”

So, now we have hundreds of digital files to add to our Local Studies Digital Archive, and lots of items to be returned. It just couldn’t all be scanned on the day. The fantastic team from Panucci Graphics – Mooch and Greg – worked all the next week and we appreciate their generous expertise and sheer hard work. Mooch said the experience was a good one and we’ve put the hard word on Greg for a guest post on scanning and image resolution, in plain English.

We’ll get a more precise figure in the next few weeks but we’ve had more than 40 contributors and over 300 items digitised. Look for them appearing in that Local Studies Digital Archive over the next month – do a search for “mosman1418” – and on the Doing our bit website over December and January.

Tim Sherratt, historian and digital boffin at large, has been jetting about Australia and New Zealand, sharing his thoughts and expertise this last fortnight (at the NZ National Digital Forum for one) but he gave us a glimpse at Scan-a-thon of the unique metadata-driven repository that underpins the project. I like this photo of Tim live-coding a Trove newspapers link widget.

Special thanks must go to volunteers Geraldine, Andrew and Guy who walked into the Library and got to work without missing a beat. And we have a number of oral histories recorded (still to be transcribed!) thanks to Trish Levido and Eve Bagnall. The day’s success is in large part down to them.

We also appreciated Ben Mercer of Inside History being there, and the surprise and welcome contribution from Terry Bugg and the Wollongong library and local history team who had indexed Illawarra newspaper mentions of Mosman men and those with photographs in the Australian Town & Country Journal, 1915.

A note of appreciation too for my colleagues at Mosman Library who are going the extra mile. As librarian Mary Lou Byrne said, “it’s getting bigger than Ben Hur.” But, an epic story deserves a proper telling. And we’re doing our bit.

SCAN-A-THON photos on Flickr