Request for info: Reading microfilm


Old 01-31-04, 10:53 AM
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Request for info: reading microfilm

Hello. This is not a fix it question (for once), but a search for a program that can help make downloaded census files that are on micro film, more legible. Some of there micro films are almost impossible to read because of poor quality, bad film, age, poor penmanship etc. Those of you who do research can relate. I have copied and pasted some of these reports, enlarged, tried to change attributes, stretch/skew but no help. Any suggestions? As always thanks in advance

Last edited by chfite; 01-31-04 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 01-31-04, 02:18 PM
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Have you tried a scanner's OCR software? That usually does a pretty fair job of recognition, but it does not do all the work. It may recover a good portion for you and all that would be left would be corrections. That would be better than going by hand.
Old 02-01-04, 08:44 PM
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My mother is a researcher, I understand exactly what you are truobled with. I don't know the exact application you refer to, but assuming the images are from an online service, or CD, etc., the trouble is the attributes of the files. The files are scanned at low resolution, and compressed to take up the least possible room for storage and transfer or download. The only solution is a higher quality scan & file saving by the archival service.

I tried to explain this the simplest way possible, I hope it makes sense.

(to those of you reading, and unfamiliar with census data from many decades ago, the ledgers were all handwritten. The hand-writting styles have changed over the years and many of us living now, young and old, have a challenging time interpreting both handwritten and inscripted charachters of the earlier portion of the previous century. Cursive style writting in a format context is disappearing. I recall my elementary school teachers using cursive-writing workbooks, that were an attempt to provide a model for us. My generation got computerized before graduation, and either prints or types.)
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