The bound volumes of Der Deutsche Correspondent are too large to digitize here at the Maryland Historical Society. Each page of the newspaper will need to be scanned using a large book scanner. The newspapers will go to a vendor with experience, expertise, and the correct equipment. We are currently narrowing down our decision and hope to choose a bid from a vendor soon.
When a collection needs to be outsourced for whatever reason (digitization, conservation, permanent relocation, etc.), the collection needs to be prepared to withstand such a move. The volumes come in two sizes that are fairly large. The large-sheet volume measures 27 inches by 21.5 inches and the small-sheet volume measures 22.25 inches by 17 inches. I am currently calculating which archival materials company to use to purchase Tyvek in order to cover each individual volume. A large roll of Tyvek (say, 60 inches by 1,800 inches) could cost hundreds of dollars. Between shipping and the actual digitization, sending a collection out could be fairly costly.
The Maryland Historical Society believes that this procedure is extremely necessary for such a delicate, priceless collection. I attended the National Archives and Records Administration 23rd Annual National Archives Preservation Conference in March. I noticed that the theme throughout the conference voiced by the speakers was, “if it doesn’t exist online, it doesn’t exist at all.” We would like to take these volumes out of the storage rooms and into a researchers hands in a way that does not harm the newspapers further.