I used some forgotten Microsoft picture program to splice several pages of minutes of one meeting into a contiguous whole. I think I used the same program to strip extra pixels from the file, then used a free program to make a PDF file. All the years and years of minutes I first uploaded have PDF file created by free version of PDF Factory stamped across the bottom. Actually, meeting minutes I typed have the same information stamped; it was not until Windows 7 that Word could be saved as a PDF file.
At some point all minutes we had, from 1811 to present, were uploaded. The original 25 inch ledgers were outsourced to a scanning company, but I stood at the scanner and scanned, collated, resized and uploaded 1936 to present. It took a long, long time, and I simply labeled it my gift to the township.
There were three gaps in our minutes. When some noble citizen took one missing book from his shelf and turned it in, I needed to think hard how to get these into usable format. Several computer upgrades later, I could not run several sheets through my photography program to make one set of the pages. Every solution I looked at cost more money than I cared to spend. The book of minutes sat on my credenza, awaiting inspiration.
One day and eureka. I realized that in scanning a document to an email (magic that is beyond me) I got one file with continuous pages if there were more than one page. A bit more experimenting and I realized the scan was a lovely PDF file that I could drag to desktop, then save and rename. Or rename and save. Such control. So, that found chunk of our history was scanned and sent to the servers. Two more books to find.
Not too long ago our township legal counsel decided to clean out a storage unit (and save the firm $400 a month!) He has been counsel for thirty odd years; he has a lot of files.He came into a meeting recently, dropped several battered expanding folders in front of me, and said perhaps I was looking for these. Several more missing years. Now we are down to only three years missing.
But the folders our attorney gave me look rode hard and put away wet. They have been stored on their 14" edge, the opposite edge unprotected from sleeves rubbing across them, other files dropped on top, and other indignities that happen to paper. The scanner at work is not a 14" flat bed; it is a workhorse 8 1/2 x 11 inch copier that handles 14 inch copies through a separate unit that sends the paper around a bend as it takes the picture. Adequate for paper nicely stored in a heavy binder all these years, but sure destruction to sheets with torn and ragged edges.
I consulted again with the trustee/historian/curator. We decided I needed archival tape. In the end we decided what the heck; good Scotch tape cannot be any worse than what the pages have suffered for the last thirty years. Forge on.
The very first page and I realized I could not get tape on the mangled tears until....
With a nothing to lose mindset, I went to work:
Edges too battered to go through the scanner:
A cotton towel for padding, a percale pillow case for protection,
My iron. I straightened those pages right out.
(Aside--this is the best iron I've ever owned. It's the same on both ends and doesn't make wrinkles ironing the back stroke.)
Scotch brand's finest "archival" tape.
Another important tool--the oblong hole punch, so those repaired pages still fit oblong posts in official Record of Proceedings binders.
Low tech scanning of 14" pages.
The ultimate discovery--that PDF file in an email that will never be sent can become a PDF file to send to the server in the clouds.
Drag it to the desk top,
and back to the working folder.
I have two years scanned and uploaded.
A year a morning (or afternoon) is all my back will put up with.