Digitising History

Have you ever worried that your old letters, certificates, photographs, maps and diaries are getting damaged whenever you handle them?  You want to share them with the family, give everyone the opportunity to connect with long-gone relatives, but you can see creases gradually turning into tears. And what about those framed photographs hanging on the walls?  They are fading in the light, changing gradually, getting irrevocably damaged.  The best way to keep all these treasures safe, is to make copies: this allows you to store the originals out of harm’s way, while the copies can be handled and displayed. With a digital copy you can even print off as many duplicates as you like, as often as you need them.

We have been copying our records in order to protect them for a long time, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve opened up our copying service to everyone, from individuals to heritage organisations: we can now digitise your history for you.

Digitising history image

Our experienced staff, using the same equipment they use for all the historic records we hold, are able to digitise:

  • diaries, journals and other bound volumes
  • letters, certificates and other documents
  • photographs
  • maps and plans
  • drawings, watercolours and prints

What are the advantages of trusting Derbyshire Record Office with your family’s history?

  • We have a state of the art digitisation system, including a book cradle for safely copying bound volumes.
  • Our staff are highly trained in handling delicate historic records.
  • Whilst in our care, you records will be kept safe in one of our secure archive stores.
  • We provide high quality images of at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi).
  • We give you the choice between TIFF files, which have a very high resolution but take up a lot of space and can be slow to open, or Jpegs, which have a smaller resolution, but take up a lot less space.
  • We put the images on a CD for you for free, or for a small charge on a USB stick

To ask for a quote, simply fill in a Digitising History quote request form on our website.


4 thoughts on “Digitising History

  1. I would like to know more about the equipment you are using. What type of cameras and scanners do you use?

    A scanning resolution of 300 dpi is about the minimum I would find acceptable for simple text documents, and certainly insufficient for photographs. I documented my choices for a personal project:in a blog post ‘Scannin the Bill Lawrence Collection’ https://familyfolklore.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/scanning-the-bill-lawrence-collection/

    I do like that your quotation form asks people to describe thier documents, which is important for managing any collection.

    • Hello Sue, we use a Nikon D180 Digital SLR camera with 36 megapixel resolution. You’re absolutely right that 300dpi is the minimum – it all depends on what we get asked to scan, how much storage space the customer has and what they want to use the images for.

  2. What about cine films. I think they are 35mm which Dad used in the 1960s/70s. I would love to be able to see them again. The projector broke years ago.

    • Sorry Hazel, we don’t store film ourselves so don’t have the equipment to do that. There are commercial companies that will copy film on DVD for you; to find them, just do a search for ‘copy 35mm film to DVD’. Hopefully you’ll find someone nearby.

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