The Victorian Archives holds the state’s history in 9 km of shelving in their repository @ North Melbourne. The problem is, these records are up to 400 km of kilometres away from the folks in country Victoria who are keen to discover more about their town’s past.
Starting with my home town of Wodonga – this project aims to digitise invaluable court records from the Wodonga Magistrates Court dating from the early 1900's up until the 70's. These records will reveal countless stories from the towns past, and provide a valuable research tool for the community. And let’s face it – who wouldn't like to find out if Grandad got in trouble ‘back in the day’!
The end product? High quality digitised copies of the records, in the hands of those most interested in them – the people of Wodonga. Copies will be given to the family history and general historical groups in the area.
And the rewards for pledging? All those who pledge will receive a copy of the digitised records.
The biggest cost in this project is the man hours it takes to photograph every page of the twenty volumes (big books!) ear marked for copying, and then throw in editing, DVD production and posting to the intended recipients and those receiving rewards.
Oh, and I know what I'm doing - I digitise records like this all the time, making digital copies of a variety of archival records on demand for family historians and community groups.
I hope that based on the success of this project that lots more records can be made accessible to researchers in regional areas.