Located in Canada’s westernmost province, Fort St. John was a boom town in the 1940s. To document its growth, locals Margaret Lally “Ma” and George Murray pioneered the local Alaska Highway News, a newspaper still published to this day. Much of its 75-year archive resides at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum. Visitors can experience history first hand through re-creations such as a newspaper office, blacksmith’s shop, tepee, schoolhouse, and more. The museum’s assets also include land records, maps, genealogical records, photographs, catalogs, and directories.
For the staff at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum, searching for information in the archive was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Long retrieval times, however, were nothing compared to the potential of a fire that could wipe out its assets in a matter of seconds.
The museum installed a Contex large format scanning solution with a document and information management system from Canon. Staffers simply click a button to save the Contex scanned assets to the digital archive, which resides on multiple servers.
It took just a couple of weeks to scan two years’ worth of newspaper archives, which are now retrievable from the digital archive in seconds. More than just making everyone’s lives easier, the scanning and archiving solution is safeguarding Canada’s storied history.
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“Documents can be brought up thousands of times digitally and only opened once, preserving their original state for as long as possible.”
— Thomas Whitton,
Ideal Office Solutions