Importance of Archival Research
Boxes, Drawers, and Hard Drives—The Importance of the Archival Search.
Searching for the right images for your book is a tedious process, but we are almost always successful. The reason is we know what we’re looking for before we get to that point.
Your company or institution has been around for 25, 50, 100, maybe even 250 years. You have a manuscript that tells your story. Now you want that story illustrated in a coffee table book commemorating your significant anniversary. Over the years, you have collected pictures that are being housed in boxes, files, scrapbooks, and past employees’ homes.
Once the manuscript is written, our archivist comes to you with a wish list of images that she thinks will best illustrate your story. This list is pegged to the manuscript on a page-by-page basis. It is her job to dig out those images from those boxes, files, computer hard drives, etc., that are on that wish list, or at least come as close to the right and perfect image as possible.
We don’t just rely on old photography. Sometimes we use old newspaper articles, advertisements, interesting documents, and memorabilia to help illustrate portions of your story. Once the item is found we scan them using a scanner that you may have on hand or one we bring with us then leave with you for future use. Our archivist knows the just right settings to enhance the newspaper article so there is very little moiré from the printing dots showing, or eliminating the dust that may appear on an old photo. A very small photograph can be scanned so that it is several sizes larger, which would work better on the design page. It is her job to help make the historical portions of your story as interesting as possible with the images that have been hiding in all of those obscure places.