November 21, 2011

Who's Counting?

We first began digitizing our photograph collection a few years ago. We started there because the number of requests for images surpasses all other inquiries—and because images illustrate the power of a digital database. More recently, we have also added texts, in the form of published town histories, booklets, oral history transcripts, and annual town reports.

Here is today's snapshot:
  • Our database of photographs contains 10,231 images.
  • Our database of published histories contains 23 sources, or 2,693 printed pages.
  • Our database of oral history transcripts contains 110 sources, or 2,114 typescript pages.
  • Our database of over one-hundred annual town reports contains 4,699 printed pages.
Over 10,000 images. Nearly 10,000 pages of text. Thanks to photo tagging, optical character recognition and indexing, most of this data is searchable in seconds, and it represents the most comprehensive collection of New London history ever assembled for digital researchers. Yet it still represents a mere fraction of the information held at the Archives.

Such an open-ended project will never be completed, but even in this nascent state the new tools have yielded useful and interesting historical insights. We'll continue to share some of the stories here on the blog, but you are also invited to stop by the Town Archives and see for yourself.