Posted by Deliverator on 6th January 2009
I’ve been very busy lately, but in my downtime while watching movies, I have been putzing away at The Hastings Historical Newspaper Project. Initial OCR results have not been terribly accurate, as there is a lot of mirror image bleed through of text from ink on the opposite sides of pages and direct transfer from facing pages. I am pretty sure I can achieve better results by playing around with the contrast & levels, but that is going to take a lot of time with 2700+ images and I am not sure I am willing to make that sort of time investment. In lieu of easy OCR derived keyword searching, I’ve been slowly working my way through the page of The Hastings Independent and Hastings Conserver searching for references to my family using the finest pattern recognition system known to man, the human brain. I’ve found numerous references to my ancestor’s activities around Hastings. While the map is definitely not the territory, I was surprised at how much of their character was revealed to me through the several dozens references I found. Along the way I’ve stopped to read a lot of the articles. Examining the period leading up to, during and immediately after the Civil War from a primary source like this has been fascinating.
In hopes that you might also benefit in some way from my labors, I am today releasing the first batch of files from the project. These files have been resized to 1/4 width and height and converted to jpeg format to make the download size reasonable. The have also been cropped and rotated for easier viewing. If you would like access to the higher resolution original tiff files, please contact me to make arrangements. The individual jpeg images have been archived together in large zip files. Click on the links below to download.
Additional data released:
Update March 11, 2009 – Additional data released:
Update March 23, 2009 – Yet another batch-o-data:
Update March 29, 2009 – Yet more data: