The Wet Letter Book (continued – for another eight weeks)

I’m finishing my second week of scanning the 500-page
Charles Frankish copy book. At 150 pages per week, I expect to be working on
the book for the remainder of my fellowship. That’s right! It will likely be seven
to eight weeks before I finish scanning the book in its entirety because once I
scan through the whole right-side of the book, I’ll begin on the left. Now that
I know how much time goes into digitizing whole books, I will read them with a
new appreciation!

Right now this process simply involves the scanning
of each delicate page. My attempts at producing meaning out of the handwritten letters
have mostly been futile as the ink is blurred due to the copying process and is
often quite faint. However, in the coming weeks we will receive printed
transcripts of the letters produced by a handwriting expert. The metadata that
I will create when I finish scanning the copy book will come from these
transcripts, which I now look forward to having just read Alfonso’s post on how
the letters from the Chaffey brothers reveal their contrasting personalities.
For now however the contents of what I’m scanning will remain a mystery.

I’ve had a chance to work on other materials as well.
In between scans of the Frankish book, I’ve begun scanning a pamphlet published
by The Ontario Land & Improvement Company in 1909. Falling under what Kiera
describes as ephemeral materials in her latest post, the pamphlet serves as an
advertisement seeking to persuade Americans to come west and live and invest in
the newly established “City That Charms” – Ontario, California. 

Ontario booklet.jpg