Photo shoot helps preserve oversized documents at the Winona History Center

IMG_20170426_085531763_HDRDigitizing historical documents has become a routine way for archives and museums to preserve the past – especially materials that are rapidly deteriorating. For smaller items, such as photographs and letters, we have often turned to the experts at Grace College’s Morgan Library who have several ongoing digitization projects. But what about over-sized documents such as large maps or posters that are simply too big even for the best scanners? Enter local photographer, Rusty Martinez, and his high resolution photographic magic. Using photography may not croppedseem like the conventional way to digitize these materials, but with the right camera, these large scale items can be Museum Document 5005.jpgcaptured with amazing clarity and detail. One of the items Rusty has digitized for us is a large map of Warsaw that includes the only known map of Spring Fountain Park, circa 1890. (Spring Fountain Park was the forerunner to the full-scale Chautauqua movement at Winona Lake.)  The map is damaged and deteriorating quickly so digitizing it was a must. Other maps, like the one being photographed here, were also digitized.

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