Old Newspaper Digital Imaging
[So much better than microfilm]

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We found this to be a very rewarding, 
fairly easy, and not too expensive project.

1. Our local newspaper let us have some old, yellowed papers that had been stored in an old building in town.

2. We both got 10 mega pixel cameras from Wal-Mart
$185 with 2GB Card - as of July 2009
(the 10MP is needed so your pictures are big enough to read all the print on the paper pages)

Canon Powershot A2000-IS Silver ~ 10MP Digital Camera, 3" LCD with BONUS Kingston 2GB SD Card

From $184.88

This cool camera bundle features the Canon Powershot A2000-IS Silver 10MP Digital Camera with 6x optical zoom, plus a Kingston 2GB SD Card for extra photo storage

3. We also each bought 2 lamps and the florescent 'Daylight' bulbs from Wal-Mart. We found that the Daylight bulbs give more light and help take the yellow out of the old paper.

4. We used 2 tripods tied together with electric ties to get he camera out over a card table.
See pictures below.


5. You position your camera so a newspaper page (one side) pretty well fills the LCD viewer. We used the 'Auto' setting on the camera. There is no flash because you have lots of light.

6. I took pictures of all of the odd pages upside down, and then I flipped the paper over and took the even pages right side up.

7. When you have a set of pictures, you frame the page taking out the part around the edge. You then copy and paste, to a new file. Flip the image upright and name the image. We used Year-Month-Day-Page in this form [1900-01-01-pg01] so the images in our folders would sort in order.

8. In all we took over 15,000 pictures of old paper pages. All of these 15,000 pages went on a set of 3 DVDs. We gave the DVDs to the local historical societies and libraries. The great thing is that anyone with a computer can see them without a microfilm reader. Also, it's easy to copy and paste any part of a page out to be saved or printed.

We hope that those who are interested in preserving these old papers, with so much local history in them, will give this project a try.
LaDarla Keith
Sue Tackel
If I can help in any way, email me at Sue@WiseCountyTexas.info