Mallon Technology

Case Study

Donegal County Archives

The Client

Donegal County Archives is responsible for preserving, acquiring and making accessible the recorded heritage of the county for the people of Donegal, present and future generations.

The Problem

Donegal County Archives stores a large collection of historical and delicate documents which record the heritage of the communities, organisations and people within the county.

The collection is host to a variety of documents which are made available to the public to view for research purposes.  Featured in the archives are the Gweedore Hotel Visitors Books, the Inishowen Agricultural Society Collection and the Letterkenny Board of Guardians/Workhouse Archives.

The Archive service required a way to further preserve the collections whilst not restricting their access to the public.

What We Did

The Gweedore Hotel Visitor Book

This collection dates from the early 1800’s and the books form an important part of the social history of Donegal.  As they were extremely delicate and hand written, the decision was taken to capture the pages using our bespoke scanners which is specifically designed to preserve delicate documents.

The collection consisted of 2 volumes, approximately A4 in size and contained between 350–450 pages each.  The volumes were captured and presented in folio format at 300dpi.  Every image captured was passed through our image fixing software to assure a fully readable and coherent image.

The Inishowen Agricultural Society Collection

This collection was made up of 2 volumes, just over A4 in size and containing between 400–500 pages each.

Each volume was captured and presented in folio format at 400dpi preservation master TIFF.  Each book was captured using our bespoke scanner and passed through image fixing software to assure of a fully readable and coherent image.

Derivative JPEG and PDF images were created for each book with the PDF images being joined together to provide one complete PDF for each book.

The Letterkenny Board of Guardians/Workhouse Archives

This collection comprised of 42 reels of microfilmed archive copies of the books.  The reels were standard 35mm, 100ft reels with an average of 400 images per reel.

The digitised images were delivered in PDF format for access use.  To help the end user easily search the archive, each reel was indexed according to each volume in the collection with each volumes being supplied as an individual PDF.

The Benefits

  • The collections have been protected from any future damage that may have been caused through excessive handling
  • A digital backup has been created ensuring there will always remain a permanent record of each collection
  • Access to each collection’s content is now easier and faster
  • Multiple researchers can access the book’s content at the same time