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WRLC Yearbook Digitization Project

Greg Mikell Digitization Operations Manager

In the spring of 2012, George Washington partnered with the other institutions in the WRLC consortium to digitize past yearbooks. The Scholarly Technology Group at Gelman Library performed work on the project, with support from Leah Prescott (Digitization Coordinator for the WRLC) and the Special Collections Research Center at Gelman Library.

We used our robotic arm book scanner (Kabis III) to perform this task. Our production team consisted of Lawrence Gadsden (Scanning Technician), and two students, Abid Siddique and Ariel Young (Post-Processing Technicians). All of the yearbooks were digitized in color, at 400dpi,  JPEG format and each institution was provided the camera raw files from wich archival TIFFS are being produced. We used ABBYY FineReader Engine 9.0 to perform optical character recognition (OCR) on the PDFs we generated. OCRed documents give the user the opportunity to do a keyword search on the document and the ability to highlight text to copy and paste into another document. This project ended in April of 2013. In total, we digitized 732 yearbooks and created 168,388 images. Each institution in the consortium now has master post-processed images of its yearbooks, as well as a searchable PDF.

The Scholarly Technical Group has the ability to convert many analog formats to a digital object to fulfill research needs. We specialize in bound books, manuscripts, journals, microfilm, limited over-sized flats, and audio. Please feel free to contact Greg Mikell (gmikell@gwu.edu) with inquiries.

Yearbook cover image: the Cherry Tree 1910 Yearbook inside cover: the Cherry Tree 1910 Yearbook interior page (image) from the Cherry Tree


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