Sunday, June 3, 2012

Endless Microfilm

Did you ever start a project, thinking it would take you a day or two and discover that's it's eating you alive and looks like it's never going to end?  Ugh!  I had transcribed the Lyon County Kentucky Lunatic Inquest Book (1887-1910), from microfilm, [posted on this blog] some time ago, and had done it by running to the genealogy library and making printed copies of about 40 pages at a time and then transcribing those before returning to make more copies.  When I reached the end of the lunatic records on the microfilm, I saw that there were additional contracts, lease agreements and other types of documents included on this microfilm that had nothing to do with the lunatic records.  I decided NOT to transcribe those but always planned to come back and copy and transcribe them at a later time.  Well, last week, I had asked our genealogy library if I could borrow their little portable S-T Imaging machine.  It has a USB connection and let's you scan microfilm and slides.  I figured I could do this at home in a couple of days.  That was a REALLY bad assumption.  First, it doesn't have a camera so that you can see what is on the current image/slide, so you have to do a PREVIEW scan and then a PERMANENT scan after bracketing the part you want to scan.  Then I had to flip the image and enhance it several times to be able to read it - these records were water damaged - THEN I could save the image of that page (or 2 pages if photocopied together) in a folder on my system.  The software for this scanner also creates a new folder every time it writes a copy [I can't figure out how to turn that off in the setup], so I had to delete that and copy the image to my OWN folder or I'd end up with a gazillion folders.  Then you turn the little crank to the next image and start all over again.  I also wanted to scan the lunatic records, so I could share those originals on this blog too.  I started this last Thursday and have been doing this at least 8 hours a day since then.  I got to the end of the lunatic records and started in on those "other" documents.  I thought there were just a few... another bad "thought".  I'm typing this in between scans (I've also read TWO BOOKS over these last few days while waiting between scans) and I'm up to page 225 of those contracts.  As I turn the little crank after each page, I can't tell that the remaining microfilm is any smaller on the original reel.  It's like chewing something that gets bigger the more you chew!!!

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