Reproducing history: Reprographics

By Emily Ward, Record Assistant

At the North Yorkshire County Record Office we have a Reprographic department which primarily creates high quality copies of documents in the archive. Myself and Clare work in the department (which is hidden in the depths of the building), here both staff and customers can receive paper and digital copies of almost anything we hold including photographs, large maps, deeds, microfilm, glass and film negatives.

We use a range of equipment from Epson flatbed scanners for glass plate negatives to a large format printer, capable of printing A0 sized prints. The jewel of the department’s crown is our Canon 52 megapixel camera that sits on a platform purpose built for archives, which allows us to photograph small to large documents safely, including large volumes such as the North Riding Registry of Deeds.

We provide copying services for members of staff doing exhibitions, research and outreach projects. Our services are also available to private individuals and their archives, artwork or important documents as well as external organisations such as museums and library services.

We also still have a stylish microfilm camera (circa 1950’s!) with upgraded LED lights and a live view monitor which we use to microfilm parish registers and newspapers from external customers.

A newspaper being microfilmed

Once we receive a request for copies, a quote is calculated after assessing the requested document. After payment has been made, the document is retrieved and the camera is prepared by using the book cradle for volumes or a cushion for flat items. We use a computer programme called CaptureOne for taking the photographs which allows us to select the resolution and make any further adjustments before the image is processed.

We use the photo editing software Adobe Photoshop to make adjustments to colour, image size or lighting to ensure the highest quality image. We also use this software to create exhibition artwork, signage and products we sell such as greetings cards.

Digital images (a popular option) are delivered via email, on a disk or through a secure file transfer system. Printed copies can be printed in colour in sizes from A4 to A0 depending on the customers’ requirements and we try to accommodate any specific requests.

Reprographics also supply copies for the Record Office online shop where there are many historic maps, and photographs available in both digital and paper format.

If you have any questions, would like a quotation or further information, please contact us.

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