What I Never Thought I’d Know About The Imaging Industry
When I was in college studying for my communications degree, I never imagined that I would ever have to know the difference between 16mm and 35mm microfilm; 300dpi and 600dpi resolution; or flatbed vs overhead capture. Then I got a job at The Crowley Company. In just a few short years, I’ve learned a lot about the imaging industry and the people who make it their job to preserve and share digital and analog content. It’s the people that I’m going to miss the most.
This will be my last blog post as Crowley’s sales and marketing assistant. Next week, I start a new job with a new company as I seek to gain diverse experiences and further my career. No matter where I go or how many years may pass, I will always be grateful for my time here at Crowley. Of all the lessons that I’ve learned, imaging-related and otherwise, these are a few that will always stick with me.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVATION
As someone who grew up in the digital age, I’m well aware that technology changes quickly. Every year there is a new device or platform that changes the way we save and share information. What I never considered, before Crowley (B.C.), was how these changes affected the wealth of information in various formats that need to be made accessible to future generations. How is one to keep up with every technology trend? Then I learned about microfilm – a media designed to outlive every trend. With a shelf life of up to 500 years, microfilm is still the preferred method for long-term preservation. Once preserved in analog format, the archived images can always be digitized again with modern microfilm scanning technology.
The Importance of Access
The yin to preservation’s yang is access, because what good is having something useful if no one can use it?
When I was in college, I used the library solely as a group meeting spot and to use the public computers. I don’t think I looked at an actual book more than once or twice. Now, I feel like I missed out on using the almost infinite amount of knowledge at my fingertips to my advantage. Libraries are increasingly implementing patron scanners so that users can quickly digitize content from library books or microform and save or share it as needed. If only my alma mater had a zeta or a UScan when I was still in school, maybe I would have spent a little more time in the library. There are also tools such as interlibrary loan which make it easy to share information even if you can’t visit the physical location where the material is held.
I’ve always been accustomed to the availability of digital content on the internet, but B.C., I never gave much thought to how it got there. After my tenure at Crowley, I’m familiar with the many steps that Crowley Imaging takes to digitize material so that the resulting images are web-friendly (OCR, indexing, metadata, file format, etc). Now, not only will The Crowley Company be able to offer digitization services, but thanks to a recent partnership with HistoryIT, Inc., Crowley will also be able to offer a tool that allows clients to provide online access to their digital collections. I am very excited to see how Crowley clients will use HistoryIT’s ArchivesTree™ platform to manage their collections (although I will have to admire their advancements from afar).
The Importance of Teamwork
The most important thing I’ve learned while working at The Crowley Company is that any job is only as good as the team of people you work with. I’ve had the privilege of working with a wonderful group of experienced and knowledgeable equipment and conversion services sales reps, dedicated service bureau project managers and scanner operators, a brilliant R&D and manufacturing team, fun-loving but hard-working administrative staff and corporate managers who truly care about their employees’ well-being. It’s my coworkers I will miss the most and to whom I dedicate this last blog. Thank you for all that you’ve taught me about teamwork!
With a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Towson University, Camily Bishop serves as The Crowley Company’s sales and marketing assistant. A self-proclaimed member of the grammar police and avid reader of classical fiction, you can find her curled up with a good e-book or, on a nice day, experiencing the great outdoors – perhaps at the nearest wine festival.