The original letters were found to be in exceptional condition considering their age. They seemed to have been stored in the dark and dry location. Very little foxing or water marks.
When originally received by John Brennan at Strathroy District Collegiate Institute, they were in a box and in their envelopes in random order.
A museum assistant on work training from SDCI sorted the letters by year and month, but not by day. They were filed in acid free folders. Accordingly as you can see by the photo, they had to be sorted by day of the month too. This usually took about half an hour for each month to make sure they were in chronological order.
Very little had to be done to the letters other than unfold any that still were folded and place them on the scanner.
After they had been scanned, the clip protector was initialed with a "D" for digitized and the letter re-filed in order. The month folder was initialed to indicate it had been scanned too. The scans were saved in pdf format that allowed all of one letter to be in one file no matter how many pages were written. The Strathroy Caradoc branch of the Middlesex Library kindly let us use their scanner-computer work station. I finally decided to change the day of the week I scanned from Wednesday to Thursday as that was kiddies song day. One Skinny Marink a morning is enough.
To place the letters in the blog, we open the pdf file, select a page at a time, save it to "clipboard" and then reopen the individual page in Photoshop Elements. The page is then given a quick edit to orient it on the screen and to improve contrast. The result is saved as a jpg file which can be uploaded to the blogger site.
If anyone has any other questions about the process we use, please leave a comment below.
Again we owe so much to the descendants of Richard and Mabel Armer, the library staff, the museum staff who coordinated the scan, the history department in the Currie Room at SDCI and many others.Sarge
Posted by Museum Strathroy-Caradoc at Friday, August 05, 2011