YORKTOWN, N.Y. - With entire rooms dedicated to dusty boxes stuffed with files and out-of-date microforms, the town’s archives are about to enter the Digital Age. The recent purchase of digital scanners has kick-started a project that will convert all that paper into digital files.
“That’s the hardware we need to begin digitizing all the town records, which is a very exciting and long-awaited project,” Supervisor Michael Grace said.
At the Nov. 1 Town Board meeting, the board approved the purchase of just under $30,000 worth of Fujitsu scanners from Sullivan Data Management, Yorktown’s IT consultant, to begin the most difficult and time-consuming part of the project—scanning the town’s documents. Grace said the funding for the project was bonded.
“In order to implement this effectively you have to process and scan the old records,” Grace said. “That’s the most expensive part of the project.” He added that several departments have already begun the arduous process.
The magnitude of the project is such that in February, Glen Sullivan of Sullivan Data said he couldn’t even find another project to compare this to, as no nearby municipality has carried out a digitization endeavor of this size.
Grace said the Planning Department has begun scanning and the clerk’s office will also begin soon. After the hardware is installed, the software will follow and then staff training sessions will begin. He said the town will announce a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place in about three weeks to commemorate the official start of the project.