Proposed policy on historical material

This policy on the archiving of historical information is meant to be considered for adoption by members of the Ecclesfield Conservation Group at their meeting on 21st January 2013. It is proposed that archiving evolves into one of the Conservation Group’s projects, and JP welcomes comments on this, (e.g. by emailing  ).


The Ecclesfield Conservation Group…

1.    … welcomes material from members or others, and will endeavour to record, make publically available, and promote, any historical material offered to it, bearing in mind constraints imposed by available resources and copyright. This includes verbal accounts or oral history, letters, speeches, diaries, account books, and newspapers. Copyright restrictions require that we have either the permission of the copyright owner (Normally the author or photographer or if they are dead, their heirs), or that the material is out of copyright (which lasts for at least 70 years after the death of the Author).

2.    …  welcomes offers of help in the recording process. This particularly includes the time consuming process of reading text, and the expertise needed to place material in historical context.

3.    …does not wish to be a repository for either physical artefacts, or master disks, but tries to find the best long-term home for all such items. One reason for this is that the group has not got expertise in long-term preservation, and cannot guarantee the safe-keeping of anything in its possession.

4.    … does not wish its website to be the only route by which the records are made publically available. We therefore welcome offers, for instance to host material on other historical websites.

Public availability

1.    The group endeavours to make material offered to it publically available. To do this, it currently uses the Group’s web site,, but may use other routes under its control, as and when it thinks appropriate.

2.    The group endeavours to make the material discoverable by current search technology. This currently means reading the text so that relevant keywords can be put on the same page as the images, and applying evolving search engine optimisation techniques such as the schema described at However, the group leaves to others, the creation of standards-compliant in-depth historical data.

3.    The Group’s web site is currently hosted by, with large images hosted on the Conservation Group’s “Google Drive” account. Material is therefore only accessible while both these are up and running, and these arrangements need to be kept under review, and may be changed at any time.


1.    Scanning of handwritten text is generally done at 600 pixels per inch. Photographs may need even higher definition.

2.    Entire pages are scanned, including front cover and spine.

3.    Apart from any necessary dust removal, documents are scanned as is, meaning that no extraneous notes, marks, or paper background discolorations are adjusted or removed.

4.    A black card may be placed beneath each page to minimise the amount of print through from underlying layers.

5.    The uncompressed TIFF, BMP, or PNG files may be available on master disks. Email  for details. These have a colour depth of 8 bits per Red, Green, Blue (RGB) channel, and are not compressed.

6.    Some Metadata may be available in comma separated variable format.


The following is not recorded by scanning and is therefore recorded separately…

1.    General appearance – E.g. by photograph

2.    Size l * w * h

3.    Weight.

4.    When and where uncovered

5.    Location of the original document

6.    Other sites for access of the images

7.    Where copyright enquiries should be directed.

Criterion for describing the importance of the documents

1.    Geographical Scope: Local, National, International.

2.    Reference connections with significant events, trends, and fields of study.

3.    Assess the uniqueness of the material.

4.    Whether the material is referenced by others. Include citations where possible.

5.    Fields of study: e.g. Genealogy.

6.    Details of the disposal of the original material, and the locations of any known duplicate or backup recordings.


Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access:   Creation of Production Master Files - Raster Images..

retrieved 2012-12-07

Ancient Lives project

retrieved 2012-12-07



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