ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL (PRWEB) March 20, 2013
For EZPhotoScan.com founder and owner Rick Lippert, the History Harvest held March 2 at the Sanford Grammar School on West Seventh Street was a perfect example of the growing role of digitization in curating and archiving America’s intricate community histories.
From the historic school on South Oak Avenue in Sanford (now known simply as the Public History Center), Lippert and his staff of digitizing specialists worked alongside educators and graduate students from the University of Central Florida through the initial steps of harvesting some of Central Florida’s rich history, including preserving the human stories that played a role in developing its blueprint.
The 110-year-old History Center was a fitting venue for the first annual History Harvest; inducted into the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the Public History Center embodies the very spirit of the project itself. Members of the community, local organizations, schools, museums and historical centers brought their photos, historic documents, and any other relevant memorabilia to be scanned and digitized into the History Harvest archives. The goal is to have a comprehensive visual record of Central Florida, from its early pioneers through today, as part of a broader mission for preservation and education.
Rosalind J. Beiler, Ph.D, Director of Public History at UCF, says that after the Seminole County school board struggled with the museum and its growing financial burden, UCF took over the building in July under a two-year lease. UCF has made long-range plans for restoration of the aging structure, and the university can use the building to meet and collaborate with its audience to interpret and preserve historical documents and images.
Lippert has deep roots within the Central Florida community, and the History Harvest is the type of project he has supported passionately for years. It is through projects like these that he is in his element. Working with the EZPhotoScan.com team of digital preservation experts, he travels throughout Central Florida loaning or donating high quality scanning equipment to museums, community centers, universities, historical societies and others organizations, and teaching volunteers and curators how to archive their stores of important images for posterity.
With many of the world’s documents and printed photos pushing 50 years and older, digital preservationists like Lippert say it is critical to digitize these images in order to preserve visual chronicles of past events.
The brainchild of UCF’s Department of History Associate Professor Scot French and colleagues from UCF, the History Harvest was designed to broaden the understanding of the Central Florida community’s history by inviting its members to share their photographs, documents, artifacts and stories for educational use and analysis. History Harvest participants bring in their treasures and are given the opportunity to present a narrative about them. They are then digitally archived to be shared with the community.
The History Harvest offered a group of French’s graduate students the chance to work with each of the individual citizen contributors in conducting oral interviews and organizing their items of historical interest. Working in tandem with UCF, the EZPhotoScan.com team donated their time, expertise, and professional KODAK Picture Saver scanner equipment to digitally preserve each photograph or treasured document using high-quality scanning techniques.
Objects not capable of being scanned were digitally archived using a professional digital camera by a master photographer.
Individual contributors are being provided a complete complimentary set of full resolution digital archived images to keep for their own personal preservation collection and use.
The History Harvest is connected to the broader Regional Initiative for Collecting the History, Experiences and Stories of Central Florida (RICHES) program, which coordinates interdisciplinary public history projects like this one with other state schools’ history departments, community organizations, museums and institutional programs. Lippert and EZPhotoScan.com are RICHES partners.
In addition to providing the equipment and expertise needed for the History Harvest, Lippert was asked to speak to participants on the historical preservation of images and documents of yesteryear, and to distinguish why it’s so important that preservation starts in the home.
“The harvest was a huge success”, says Lippert. “First, it clearly demonstrates how public-private partners can come together to help enrich a community. Second, it achieved its goal of revealing some of those hidden historical treasures, archives and stories we all know have been tucked away in personal collections throughout our community.
“Last, but certainly not least, we as a community can celebrate the chance to share and connect with the preserved treasures.”
Lippert is a member of the Association of Personal Historians, while EZPhotoScan.com participates in the Outreach Working Group for the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Digital Stewardship Alliance. In the past six months alone, Lippert and E-Z Photo Scan have assisted numerous non-profits, museums and organizations with digitizing equipment and expertise in order to maximize the preservation effort. Those entities include; the Apopka Historical Museum, Public History Center, and Ripley Entertainment, the largest and fastest-growing international chain of museum-type tourist attractions in the world.
Last month Lippert launched an affordable long-term rental policy for folks who want to archive their own family photos – in many cases, thousands of them that have piled up since the days before digital photography was the norm. EZPhotoScan.com customers can rent KODAK Picture Saver Scanner equipment for weeks or months – as long as they need to complete the task.
For more information on high volume, high speed archival and photo scanning equipment, visit the EZPhotoScan.com website, call 1-866-562-4660, or Email info(at)EZPhotoScan(dot)com.
Founded by owner Richard Lippert in 1995, EZPhotoScan.com has turned the task of managing documents into an art form. The EZPhotoScan.com group was formed to offer best-in-class solutions for scanning pictures, printed memories, and sensitive documents. EZPhotoScan.com provides full service assistance to individuals looking to do their own scanning, have it done for them, or start their own conversion service.