SPL And Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum Digitization Project
Digitization is the act of making digital copies of documents, photographs and other media, which is then added to a searchable database made available online for the public to use. Digitizing items allows libraries, museum and historical societies to make digital back-up copies of their most fragile items (items which may not be available to the general public) and make these copies available online for viewing at any computer in the world.
The Syracuse Public Library and the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum have partnered in an initiative to digitize part of our respective historical collections and make these items available through our websites, and also on the Indiana Memory Project, sponsored by the Indiana State Library. Indiana Memory is a collaboration of Indiana libraries, museums, archives and related cultural organizations to enable access to Indiana’s unique cultural and historical heritage through a variety of digital formats and free distribution over the internet. Indiana Memory seeks to support and enhance education and scholarship for all Hoosiers for an increased understanding of Indiana’s past and its role in preparing for Indiana’s future.
The Syracuse Public Library and the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum have received a grant in 2012 in the amount of $9,000 to digitize our historic collections and make these items available in an online database linked through our websites and through the Indiana Memory Project. This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.
The Syracuse Public Library and the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum received a second grant in 2017 in the amount of $10,000 to digitize more of our historic collections. Becky Miller, our IN Memory Digitizing Intern, scanned the extensive Garry Ringler postcard collection – quite an undertaking. After uploading to the IN Memory website, the images are available to view on the Internet by simply clicking the Spink Hotel postcard on either the Syracuse Public Library or the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum’s websites. (Click Here To View the Syracuse-Wawasee Digital Archives)
Historic Newspaper Digitization Project
The Syracuse-Turkey Creek Township Public Library and the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum came together to successfully apply for the 2021 LSTA Technology Grant after limiting digitization to newspaper microfilms from the late 1800s through 1990 following an unsuccessful grant in 2020. To complete this project, both organizations received approval from Ron Baumgartner, the owner and publisher of The Papers Inc., which owns The Mail-Journal.
The LSTA Technology Grant came from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and is administered by the Indiana State Library. SPL and the museum's microfilm digitalization project became the first of its kind in Kosciusko County.
In October 2021, the Syracuse Public Library's microfilm was packed and sent to Digital Divide Data in Maryland. The vendor then scanned the microfilm through a high-speed feed scanner to produce the digitized pages into several formats. During the process, newspaper pages were cropped, de-skewed, and organized into folders. Following that, they were sent to another team, where metadata was created for each page, issue, and microfilm reel. (Click Here To Learn More)