ESSEX-UK-L Archives

Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2002-07 > 1026315253

From: Rod Neep <>
Subject: Re: I841 census on cd
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 16:34:13 +0100
References: <><000b01c22802$9ca10880$650b7ad5@IanH>
In-Reply-To: <000b01c22802$9ca10880$650b7ad5@IanH>

In article <000b01c22802$9ca10880$>, Ian Hunter <ianpubbyhu
> writes
>Dumb? Hardly. They're gonna be in .pdf (Acrobat) format from scans of
>the PRO records. Today's scanning techniques are much better that
>microfilming, but, I suspect, some pages will still be unreadable. Ask
>me in 6 months :O)
>Ian Pubby Hunter

I can give you the answer now Ian.

The CD versions of the images of the census enumerator's books are
digitised from the *existing films* and not from the original documents.
Digitising from a film cannot *improve* on a film.

Not only are some (many!) pages on the films illegible, but having had
my hands on them personally, I can assure you and readers that the
*original* pages are also illegible, and at this time, there is no
technology that can digitise them. The problem is not especially one of
faded writing (it was in pencil) but many of the 1841 pages are like
dark brown paper bags with no visible writing on them.

Having said that, I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending
that anyone purchase the 1841 census as reproduced on CD by Stepping
Stones, because the vast majority of pages *will* be legible.

If one's ancestor happened to be "hidden" on one of the illegible pages,
then that is just bad luck. But that's genealogy research for you.

Rod Neep

A project to reproduce old books on CD for genealogists
and pay for the restoration of books in Record Offices, Libraries, etc.
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