Mallon Technology

Case Study

Queen’s University Belfast

The Client

The McClay Library at Queen’s University is home to the university’s main library and research facilities.  It is host to a large archive of historical documents, text, manuscripts and photographs, all of which are made available to students for research purposes.

The Problem

To improve access to and to help preserve historical and delicate documents the decision was taken by the university to digitally capture 3 of its important historical collections.

What We Did

Mallon provided a variety of different document capture services to each separate collection, depending on the specific requirements, sensitivity and condition of the volumes.

The Hart–Wright Biography and Photo Collection

The collection consists of a 1000 page biography and some 1500 bound and loose photographs.  Firstly, the biography was captured using our bespoke scanner to ensure the integrity of the book remained intact.  Pages of the book measured 120mm x 230mm and were captured in single page format at 400dpi master preservation TIFF.

These were passed through our image processing software to ensure a fully readable and coherent image.  The preservation master images was also passed through our OCR software, resulting in fully searchable PDF and Word document derivatives.

Photographs from the collection were digitally captured on–site by 2 of our highly experienced Document Capture Technicians as the collection was deemed too valuable to leave the premises

The Thomas Moore Music Collection

The first phases of the collection comprised of 45 volumes of music, containing approximately 50 pages per volume.  This was an extremely delicate collection and included both bound and loose leaf material.  Images were captured using our bespoke scanner at 400dpi preservation master TIFF before being passed through image processing software.

The second phase of the collection comprised of 6 volumes and a total of 850 pages across the collection.  The utmost care was taken throughout the project to ensure that the documents did not incur any damage and were only handled by our highly trained team of Document Capture Technicians

The Ulster–Scots Collection

The collection is made up of 29 volumes from 3 different authors – Percy, Ramsey and Hewitt.  The entire collection contained approximately 11,000 pages which were all generally A5 in size.  These were captured using our bespoke scanner at 400dpi preservation master TIFF.  At the request of the customer a uniform border was applied to all images.

The preservation master images were then passed through our OCR software, with an accuracy output exceeding 97%.  This resulted in a fully searchable PDF and Word document derivatives.  As the collection was deemed too valuable to leave the premises, the project involved both on–site and off–site work.  Images were captured on–site and the post processing of images was carried out off–site in our Cookstown office.

The Benefits

  • The original collections will be further preserved and damage through handling prevented
  • Texts can be searched for keywords or phrases
  • All 3 collections are now securely and digitally backed up
  • Documents can be easily recovered in event of a disaster
  • Access to documents has been significantly improved allowing for more varied and detailed research to be undertaken
  • Multiple users are able to access the collections at the same time