Thursday, 25 November 2010

Copying/transcribing a large format old deed

You never know what challenges you're going to face as a genealogist. A BIFHSGO member brought me an old deed and asked if I'd help find it a good home. She had rescued it many years ago when her church in Quebec was clearing out its storage and didn't see much need to keep a document from Cheshire.

I asked for help at the last BIFHSGO meeting and a couple of people volunteered.  How much could we find out about the people and places named in the document? How did a Cheshire deed find its way to a Quebec church?

The first thing to do, it seeemed to me, was make a copy so that we didn't risk damaging the original.  Make a copy ... sounds easy.

It's 75 by 57 cm, three sheets with information on five sides. The sheets are attached at the bottom and folded twice in both directions. A colleague who investigated commercial copying services got estimates near the GDP of a small country. However, she seems to have found a solution.

While this was underway The Ancestry Insider was working on a similar problem, and blogged a solution involving photographing in segments and stitching them together.

Seems like one way or another we'll have a solution to the copying.

Does anyone have any tips on transcribing from a large format document computer image?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ask your local "Blue Print Service" to either print or scan the document. Often theri "blue Printer" is also a scanner with a width up to 48" and endless length.

Alison, Vancouver said...

Take photos and create jpgs if you don't have them. Then you can blow them up if/when you need to.

If you are having difficulty with some of the script, find a word you know and then that for the same letters elsewhere.

There are websites that can help with interpretation of old scripts

Anonymous said...

With drawing software like paint.net you can blow up an image to a magnification such that the writing is visible, then crop the original into small enough sized images to fit half the screen. Load word processing software on the other side of the screen and away you go. For sanity, turn off the spell and grammar checker.