Today we finally had a batch of books to scan at work, and I scanned over 3k pages (I scanned 1k the first day, 2k the second day, and 4k is the quota, so I am coming ever nearer to my goal). One book I scanned was this one, which may not be very interesting in itself, but was interesting because it was prepared in the 1800s to preserve 17th century documents. So I sit at a state-of-the-art “scribe” taking photographs of bookpages every few seconds and making them into these beautiful web documents… and the content of these pages, in this case, is how records were being preserved 200 years ago. Isn’t that cool?

We also got a slew of books on the Adirondacks, which made me happy. I’m getting a lot of ideas and source material from these books. Unhappily, one of the most inspiring books I had today ended up being rejected for the online archive. The standards of what makes it onto the archive are very high and mostly have to do with reproducibility. In this case there were fold-out maps. We don’t yet have the proper machine to simulate fold-outs online (though we’re getting one soon) so any book with fold-outs ends up back on the book cart for now.

I can feel poetry brewing… I have at least three large projects on my mental stove at this point, and scanning these histories of New York State is like pouring molten metal into the molds I’ve been preparing for these long years that I haven’t written anything.


About Jessica Smith
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