Galway County Council Archives

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Client Details:

Galway County Council Logo

Customer Name:Galway County Council Archives

Location:Galway, Ireland

The Problem

The key function of Galway County Council Archives is to preserve the archives of the local authorities of Galway County Council and to acquire and preserve any archives of local interest. Its archives form an important local and national resource that documents the heritage of the entire county.

As part of its ongoing work to preserve and improve access to their historic resources, Galway County Council Archives took the decision to digitally capture some of its most important collections.

What We Did

Each collection had a unique set of requirements and to ensure they were successfully captured; Mallon Technology provided Galway County Council Archives with a range of different Document Capture services. These are detailed below:

Project 1 - Clifden Poor Law Union Book Collection

The Clifden Poor Law Union Book collection was comprised of over 59 volumes of differing sizes (mostly 240-300mm per page).

The books were handwritten and dated from 1860 - 1900s. Each book was scanned using our bespoke book scanner. Images were captured and presented in folio format at 400dpi preservation master TIFF.

Following this, images were passed through an image fixing software to assure a fully readable coherent image. Derivative PDFs with and without watermarks were also created for every book. All images were then printed onto microfilm for long term archival storage.

Property metadata regarding the capture process was applied to all images, including; title, subject, copyright and camera details.

On completion of the project, Mallon Technology had captured 38,688 individual images which were delivered to the customer on an external hard drive.

Project 2 - Various Collections

This project involved the digital capture of several collections, including the Burial Ground Register collection, the Clonfert Valuation Lists collection, the Tuam Town Commissioners Minutes collection and a 1916 Coroners File. The project also involved scanning from microfilm of the Glenamaddy Law Union and the French Papers.

The collections were made up of 19 volumes and 2 reels of microfilm. The books were scanned using our bespoke book scanner before the resulting images were passed through image fixing software to ensure a fully readable and coherent image. Each volume was captured and presented in folio format at 400dpi preservation master TIFF.

From these images, derivative PDF images were created with and without immovable watermarks, whilst all typescript data was passed through OCR processing, resulting in a fully searchable text document. The accuracy of the OCR process had an output that exceeded 97%.

Property metadata regarding the capture process was applied to all images, including; title, subject, copyright, and camera details. All images were then printed onto microfilm for long term archival storage.

On completion of the project, Mallon Technology had captured 4,572 individual images which were delivered to the customer on an external hard drive.

Project 3 - Gort Law Union Collection

This collection consisted of 48 reels of microfilm. The reels were supplied in standard 35mm, 100ft reels with an average of 500 images per reel.

Derivative PDF images were created of all the digitised images, one copy with a watermark and one without. PDF images make it easier for the customer to access, search and use the records contained within the collection.

Any typescript data was also passed through OCR processing to create a fully searchable text document. The accuracy of the OCR process had an output that exceeded 97%.

Each reel was indexed according to its corresponding volume in the collection. Property metadata regarding the capture process was applied to all image, including; title, subject, copyright and camera details.

On completion of the project, Mallon Technology had captured 26,026 images which were delivered to the customer on an external hard drive.

Project 4 - Burial Ground Indexing Project

This project required Mallon Technology to successfully transcribe and index data from burial ground registers held by Galway County Council Archives to form an online searchable database.

Work for this project was carried out in two separate phases, both of which followed the same processes as listed below.

Comprising of 88 volumes, Galway County Council Archives required that 22 fields were transcribed in total.

Full quality and technical assurance procedures were conducted on all captured data, ensuring a quality level that exceeded 98% as required by the customer.

Images were provided in JPEG and PDF format and as requested by the customer, specific information was redacted from the final images.

On completion of the project, Mallon Technology had captured 23,012 individual records. The results were recorded in an Excel Spreadsheet, with each entry linked to the equivalent PDF image.

Project 5 - Various Bound Volumes & a Photographic Collection

This collection contained various bound volumes and a collection of photographic material.

The bound volumes were captured at 400dpi in TIFF format, whilst the photographic collection was captured at 600dpi in TIFF format. Images captured from the photographs had to be cropped and single entities created.

From these, derivative PDF images were created, one copy with a watermark and one copy without. PDF images make it easier for the customer to access, search and use the records contained within the collection. JPEG derivatives were created for the photographic material only.

Any typescript data was also passed through OCR processing to create a fully searchable text document. The accuracy of the OCR process had an output that exceeded 97%. Property metadata regarding the capture process was applied to all images, including; title, subject, copyright and camera details.

On completion of the project, Mallon Technology had captured 6,410 images from the bound volumes and 453 images from the photographic material.

The Benefits

  • Access to the different collections has been significantly improved
  • New insights can be gained into the history & heritage within Galway County
  • The collections will be preserved from further damage caused by excessive handling
  • Multiple users can now access the collections at the same time
  • Text searches can be carried out for keywords or phrases, enabling relevant information to be found quickly and easily
  • A secure digital backup ensures that Galway County Council Archives never lose access to their historical collections

Why us:

  • Experience working with similar archival instiutions
  • Access to specialist scanning equipment
  • OCR & data capture experience
  • Highly experienced team of data capture technicians
  • Ability to handle Microfiche material
  • Capacity to handle delicate and sensitive documents
  • Galway County Council Archives has worked with Mallon Technology on several digitisation and transcription projects over several years. We have always found them to be extremely professional, thorough and good to deal with. They respond quickly and efficiently to all queries and request, and provide sound advice and guidance, if and when required, and also provide solutions to any issues that might arise. They deliver, with minimal fuss, an excellent end product on time and within budget.

    Patria McWalter, Archivist, Galway County Council Archives