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Home   Kent   News   Article

Digital archive taking shape at KM Group

22 October 2012

 

The KM Group digital archive has moved another step closer.

Bound volumes containing historic pages of the South Eastern Gazette have been catalogued, cleaned and repaired by a group of volunteers.

The 1852-1912 pages have now been sent for scanning, to be made ready for digitisation.

A grant for £49,725 met by the equivalent sum in voluntary hours by KM staff and community volunteers has ensured that more than 30,000 pages will soon go online with free access to anyone in the UK.

Digitorial, the company chosen to carry out the work along with its scanning partner Microform Imaging, also hosts historic newspapers including the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Methodist, The Worker and Yorkshire Post.

Geraldine Allinson, KM group chairman said this is the first step in the company’s plan to achieve a seamless archive for readers across the world.

She said: “It is an exciting time now the historic pages have actually gone for scanning. We already know that the experts are really pleased with the quality of the scans.

“That is very much due to the hours put in by our volunteers who painstakingly went through the pages to ensure they were in the best possible condition.”

The digital archive is on schedule to be launched by Easter 2013 but voluntary project manager Lesley Bellew is hoping that the archive will be free at www.kentonline.co.uk  by January.

She said: “Once the scanning and digital optimisation has been completed, the volunteers will then be called upon again to check the pages, test the searches and online access before we go live .”

The South Eastern Gazette is considered a broad forerunner to the Kent Messenger and covers national, international and local news.

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