Churchill Archives

The Churchill Archives - Non-Destructive/Book Scanning Case Study

Case Study

Churchill Archives Centre

Margaret Thatcher Papers

Non-Destructive Scanning

The Churchill Archives Centre was purpose-built in 1973 and is situated within the grounds of Churchill College, Cambridge, itself the National and Commonwealth Memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. It includes air-conditioned reading rooms, a strong room with elaborate security systems, and a sophisticated conservation laboratory and a sorting room in which raw history is put into boxes. The mission of the Centre is to preserve and provide access to the unique materials in its care.

The Challenge
Churchill Archives Centre invited nine document management specialists to tender for this high profile contract. Determining factors included security, confidentiality, trust, price and quality of work. After undertaking rigorous trials, demonstrating our professionalism and our ability to satisfy the requirements, Churchill Archives Centre were delighted to award Transmedia with the contract.  

This contract was to digitise Margaret Thatcher’s entire private collection of papers spanning her career as Prime Minister from her election campaign in 1979 right through to her resignation in 1990 and had to be carried out on-site in Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge.

The Solution
Transmedia were required to digitise Margaret Thatcher's personal papers over a 2 year period, on-site at the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Documents were mainly A4 loose sheets (no binding) and could not be scanned through a rotary scanner or come into contact with any mechanical parts due to their delicate condition and importance as historical documents.

The documents were scanned in 24bit Colour on an overhead book scanner (Bookeye 2) and automatically cropped and checked. We also had a facility to manually crop, if required.

Data was encrypted on-site and sent back to Transmedia at intervals of between two and four weeks. This was processed at Transmedia to produce PDF/A searchable documents with OCR (optical character recognition), which were returned to the Churchill Archive centre in encrypted form a few days later.

Size of project:
Total Images: Approx 871,264
Period: 2 Years

Client's website:

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