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Keeping History Alive

As an imaging company, our favorite parts of the job include being a part of the history preservation process. Beginning in 2002, one of our major history preservation projects was the digitization of the Gutenberg Bible at the University of Texas at Austin, using the i2s Digibook SupraScan overhead scanner.

Image Retrieval Digitizing The Gutenberg Bible
Image Retrieval Digitizing The Gutenberg Bible

According to The University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center, an internationally renowned humanities research library and museum, there are less than 50 copies of the Gutenburg Bible in the world. The center says that each copy is unique because the unbound prints were sold and then local artisans throughout Europe were employed to illuminate, bind and finish the book.

History helps us improve the future while remembering and respecting the efforts of those generations before us. Often noted as the first printed book, the Gutenberg Bible is a recognized landmark in the history of printing. Most historians agree that Johann Gutenberg (ca. 1399-1468) was the inventor of the mechanical printing process that transformed the progression of western civilization.

History is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing ways to gain knowledge of the past with a combination of amazing and sometimes disturbing stories. The most encouraging part of history is that we have the opportunity to progress and discover more about our heritage. And Charleston County, South Carolina is doing just that! The Charleston County’s Register of Deeds (ROD) office records the land titles, liens and other documents related to property transactions in the county. The ROD’s responsibility is to assure that all recorded documents comply with requirements of federal and state recording statutes making the documents

available to the public.

Preserving the Charleston County Land Records in digital form is crucial to providing long term access to aging and deteriorating public records. The scanning of these historical documents is being performed using the i2s SupraScan Quartz A0 the same advanced scanners that are utilized used by organizations like the Library of Congress, State historical Societies and Universities throughout the US. Utilizing the i2S SupraScan Quartz A0, distributed by Image Retrieval, this powerful scanner delivers quality and absolute detail for the best document preservation possible.

The Charleston County Imaging Department compresses these files after they are scanned, and at this point, the files are available online for public access. The department’s Senior Imaging Specialist, Bob McIntyre says that they’ve been scanning the original handwritten Historical Collection in their office from as far back as 1719. With more than 1,000 volumes to scan, McIntyre is pleased to point out that 40% of the project is complete. “The i2s equipment has been an unparalleled help to kick starting our projects and maintaining the integrity of our records,” McIntyre boasted. He added, “The one feature that has been critical for us, is the book cradle. Without this crucial feature, our team wouldn’t have been able to effectively accomplish the project.

Charleston County Imaging Department

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