SPLC goes paperless, preserving thousands of irreplaceable historical documents

Image API’s imaging services preserve historical documents and improve accessibility

  • Environmental factors, natural disasters, and human error are just some of the risks associated with paper storage.  The Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) mission is to further the cause of racial equality. They archive thousands of historically sensitive documents.  The documents were not only at risk for loss, but files were also not optimized to accommodate research or collaboration.

  • Thousands of historical documents were at risk, and research and collaboration were challenging.

Documents of varying size and condition, such as newspapers, photographs, pamphlets, and publications, required special handling and expertise to ensure preservation.  Image API performed “white glove” imaging services, digitizing SPLC’s inventory of priceless historical documents.  During the digitization process, a monitoring system was implemented so that each item could be tracked throughout the process.  Digitization of the images included key processes like OCR and indexing, so that documents could be retrieved through a keyword search.  This revolutionized the search and retrieval process.

The value delivered for SPLC? The ability to access, review, and share documents was dramatically improved, simplifying research and collaboration, and improving efficiency.  Irreplaceable documents were successfully preserved, ensuring access to those documents for years to come.

Project Summary

Challenges:

  • Difficult to access files, files were at risk for loss and deterioration
  • Collaboration and research were difficult with paper documents

Solution:

  • Go paperless, carefully handling documents of varying sizes and conditions (newspapers, photographs, etc.)

Results:

  • Preserved thousands of irreplaceable historical documents
  • Improved access to historical documents, easier to locate with keyword search