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Scanning the Past

News Feature

News & Events

September 7, 2012

History lives again in a digital form thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Maxwell Library and the Boston Public Library.

A federal grant has allowed the BPL to offer its extensive scanning services to qualified institutions across the state. BSU applied to take part, citing the need to scan the institution's yearbooks.

The BPL committed to scanning 15,000 pages.

Over the course of the summer, the yearbooks from 1899 to 1969 were scanned, and are now available in Virtual Commons and in the BSU section of the Internet Archive (available here). They are also keyword searchable.

"We're ecstatic," said assistant librarian, Ellen Dubinsky, who leads BSU's Digital Services. "This was the coup of the last year."

The BPL has agreed to complete the job, and work is underway to digitize the years 1970 to 2011. This is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Maxwell Library does not have the type of scanners necessary to do an optimal job in scanning bound volumes, such as yearbooks, Ms. Dubinsky said. The assistance of the BPL was critical in accomplishing the work of preserving, archiving and making available the yearbooks.

The digitizing of Bridgewater-related images and documents continues. Next up are the remaining catalogues from the institution (up to the year 1900 have already been completed). Also, work continues on the digitizing of the Comment student newspaper.

All of this content can be found on BSU's Virtual Commons. The yearbooks can be found here. (Story by John Winters, University Advancement)

The scanned cover of the 1953 yearbook