Robert Harley (
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 19:30:33 +0100 (MET)

I know all you FoRKers are interested in the problem of information
becoming inaccessible over time. Here's a real-life problem that my
Dad needs a real-life solution too.

On the one hand there is a large stack of letters written to
Florentine ambassadors in France in 1503 and 1504. They are in
Renaissance Italian, hand-written of course, with various almost
indecipherable squiggles and abbreviations.

On the other hand is my Dad who wants them on his PC so he can read
them easily and translate some interesting ones for his research.
Ideally some approximation of the contents would end up in ASCII so he
can do keyword searches or whatever.

This is, to say the least, a non-trivial problem.

The letters are also locked up in Florence somewhere, which doesn't
help. We can't physically get our grubby mits on them to scan them,
but my Dad recently obtained a microfilm with black-and-white
negatives of the letters, and he has a micro-film reader.

The next step is: how to digitize (quite a lot of) microfilm into .gif files?

Any killer ideas out there?

Anyone know of a gadget to do this? A slide digitizer or something?