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VEDANTA MASS MEDIADigital camera turns boon in uploading Charles X archive  

 

 

 

 

 

 

               Digital camera turns boon in uploading Charles X archive

 

              

 

 

      Washington, Sep 5 (IANS) A researcher on a short trip to another country, found his digital camera a boon in digitising bulky foreign archives at a fraction of the cost.

 

      Christopher Gennari, assistant professor at Camden County College, Blackwood, New Jersey is a historian and amateur photographer.

 

      His research into Swedish military history and the reign of Charles X of the 17th century took him to the Riksarkivet in Stockholm, Sweden.

 

      "Digital photography and computer technology allowed me to capture, transport, and manipulate a previously inconceivable amount of documents at a tremendous cost saving," he said.

 

      "This has many benefits for the researcher including a greater convenience of time, a dramatic savings of money, and an increased flexibility in using the documents."

 

      "Additionally, my need for frequent return trips and long, expensive, stays in a foreign country to continue my research has been eliminated. I have a lifetime worth of research documents at my fingers whenever I wish to conduct the research; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

 

      Gennari set about photographing 2,500 documents, producing some 25,000 images in total, which would have been the equivalent of $15,000 worth of photocopying.

 

      If he had used a film camera, almost 700 rolls of film (about $4,000) would have been required with the attendant costs of converting those to photo CDs adding $30,000 to the total costs).

 

      However, with the images safely stored on a handful of recordable DVDs, Gennari was able to import the whole collection into Google's free Picasa image library software for cataloguing and study on his return to the US.

 

      "As a US university student I was constrained by factors of time, space, income and, unexpectedly, source material," Gennari said. "I only had the income and free time to support living in Sweden for about a month.

 

      "Travel space restrictions on transatlantic flights limited my ability to perform massive photocopying; the sheer bulk weight (not to mention cost) of hundreds of photocopied pages made for a daunting endeavour."

 

      With this in mind, he planned to make very specific use of the Riksarkivet materials, reading only highly relevant letters and documents in the archives.

 

      However, there was a major stumbling block in his research path. The letters, although expertly categorised and chronicled were incredibly difficult to read.

 

      "The 17th century handwriting was difficult to read, it was narrow, close together, and in many cases nearly the entire page is filled with script making it difficult to know where a sentence finished or began."

 

      The archivists in Stockholm offered Gennari a magnifying glass and a handwriting decoder photocopy and wished him luck.

 

      "Suddenly, in leafing through a series of folios," he recalled, "I realised why very few Swedes and not a single English language historian had done large scale, archival level work on the reign of Charles X."

 

      His plan to efficiently glide through letters searching out significant keywords or authors lay in tatters. The idea of photocopying all the relevant documents was impossibility, because of cost, time and travel constraints.

 

      An off-hand remark at the Riksarkivet revealed that they not only allowed non-flash photography of their collections, but they even had a camera stand setup for the occasional photographing of maps and images that could not be photocopied.

 

      The details have been published in the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism.

 

 

 

     Indo-Asian News Service

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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