Mallon Technology

Case Study

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners

The Client

The Office of the Revenue Commissioners (Revenue) is the Irish Tax and Customs administration.  Established in 1923, Revenue has over 70 offices across Ireland and aims to ‘serve the community by fairly and efficiently collecting taxes and duties and implementing customs controls’.

The Problem

Over its long history, Revenue has built up a large archive of records, many of which are unique and irreplaceable.  In order to promote the preservation of and access to its archive, Revenue commissioned a project to digitise select records from its archive collections.

What We Did

As the project was to be completed off–site, Mallon removed the archival items (including files, bound volumes and publications) from Revenue’s office in Dublin Castle.  These were then taken to our purpose–built data capture facility in Cookstown.

The project required the digital capture of several collections dating from 1922, including the Revenue Annual Reports, Revenue Circulars, a Free State Account Ledger, Free State Finance Accounts and other various items.

The entire project comprised of 139 separate files and volumes, totalling approximately 23,000 pages.  The majority of the material was A4 in size with a few items between A3–A2 in size.  All images were captured using overhead digital cameras and flatbed equipment to help preserve the integrity of the original documents.  The images were captured at 300dpi in preservation master TIFF format.  From these, derivative PDF images were also created to improve access to the scanned files.

Any typescript data was passed through OCR processing to create a fully searchable text document.  The OCR process resulted in an accuracy output that exceeded 97% as required by the customer.

On completion of the project, Mallon had captured 17,877 images.  All images were then returned to the customer on an external hard drive.

The Benefits

  • Revenue has improved access to several of its archive collections, with a potential for online publication
  • All collections will be preserved for future generations and protected from damage caused by excessive handling
  • New insights can be gained from research conducted on an important national and historical resource
  • A secure digital backup will ensure the collections always remain accessible even in worst–case scenarios
  • Text searches can be carried out for keywords or phrases, enabling relevant information to be found quickly and easily
  • Multiple users can access information at the same time