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Public History Digitization Project: Welcome

The Project

You will be using the Zeta Book Scanner in the Digital Scholarship Center (Library Room 03) to digitally preserve books in an online repository.

Books on the Digital Humanities

Digital Repositories for NYS History

Why digitize the Proceedings?

The Proceedings of the Commissioners of the Land Office of the State of New York (1882-1927) offer a comprehensive record of how New York State addressed all public land issues, but they are not widely available in their current form. Moreover, the task of researching the extant manuscript and typescript volumes is laborious and time-consuming. Anyone interested in the history of how the State acquired and disposed of lands incorporated into New York’s canal system will benefit from the digitization of these records, but we also believe that the digital collection will benefit anyone with a personal or professional interest in a public land issue, including the NYS Department of Conservation and the Office of General Services. The Proceedings is also potentially useful to all county and municipal government officials,  individual town historians, lawyers, genealogists, property research companies, private landowners and New York Native Americans all conducting research in this publicly accessible, keyword searchable, collection of historic New York public land records.

How to Digitize Historic Records


  1. Enter the Digital Scholarship Center - Library 03
  2. Grab the next book in the queue
  3. Turn on the zeta book scanner
  4. Insert a USB drive into either port on the scanner (located above the touch screen)
  5. Choose English on the touch screen
  6. Agree to the copyright policy
  7. Choose Direct Output
  8. Location: USB
  9. File Format: JPG ; Multipage: NO ; Filename: four-digit year of the book
  10. Place the book face up on the scanner and start scanning. You will crop your scans as you go.
  11. Quality control: remove the USB drive from the scanner and insert into a computer to check the scans for quality and ensure that the pages are in order.
  12. Rename the folder from Zeta to the four-digit year of the book.
What Happens Next?!
  • The folder of book pages will be uploaded into CONTENTdm.

  • Transcripts will be generated by the ABBYY FineReader Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

  • Metadata describing the book will be applied from a template based on the bibliographic record in WorldCat.

  • The page files will be bound into a compound object with an XML wrapper.

  • The full text of the book will be discoverable in New York Heritage and Google.


Our Digitized Volumes

Your Librarian

Jennifer Fairall's picture
Jennifer Fairall
117 Standish Library

Editing and Transcribing Historic Documents