Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend wonderings: when counties do have money...

It's interesting to research in a county courthouse where they've had relatively good times and reliable tax revenues with which to manage their records. Money definitely improves matters, but it doesn't always lead to the best decisions. In a single office I have observed:

(1) lamination of old worn books' pages (good short-term, not always so good long-term);

(2) retyping of old, presumably worn, books (seemingly well done, but where are the originals?); and

(3) good microcopies of every page of every book for copying purposes (gold standard!).

Quite a mix. Where have you seen money especially well used (or otherwise)?

Harold Henderson, "Weekend wonderings: when counties do have money," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 3 June 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

1 comment:

Yvette Hoitink said...

I've seen mouse-eaten tax records lovingly restored with translucent rice paper. All the fragments were meticulously lined up and then glued in place with dissolvable glue according to the latest preservation insights. Best use of money for preservation I've seen.

Also here in the Netherlands, many archives choose to digitize their popular records on a high resolution and provide free online access so the originals do not need to be used anymore. that's my personal gold standard if the scans are stored on a digital repository built for digital preservation. I prefer scans over microfilm because scans are full color and capture details you miss in grayscale microfilm.