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Legacy Records Management

By steve.bodman ·
My church is growing. 12 yrs of paper council meeting minutes are sitting in binders on shelves. We have to dig for hours through these same paper documents to reearch decisions, votes, actions and resolutions. Is there a way to scan the old documents, set up an internal search mechanism that lets us quickly find information based on key words or subjects? Can (or should)this "vehicle" be Web based? Can we place this on our web site so members can do their own searches? I'd like soem direction from you brilliant folks out there to help me help my congregation.

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by jdmercha In reply to Legacy Records Management

There are probably many solutions, but I do know that Canon has a complete solution that will run in excess of $10,000.

Take a look at the big document companies to see what they offer. Then you can search for a lower cost alternative once you know what you need.

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Thanks - I was afraid of that

by steve.bodman In reply to Costly

Thanks for your response. I was afraid that there really wasn't an "in the can" solution that would be affordable to our church. the good news is that more knowledgeable folks like you affirmed my suspicions. thanks for the response.

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Low tech solution

by stress junkie In reply to Legacy Records Management

The option of hiring a temporary typist may be a good approach. I don't know what Manpower or Kelly Services are charging per hour but it is probably less than $20/hour. You could budget some money each yearly quarter to have someone come in and just manually type the information into the computer.

You could use a simple text editor. Using text files to store the information would make the information accessible to any kind of display software, such as a web browser and search software.

The only 'low cost' solution, or 'high tech' solution, that I can think of is using a flatbed scanner to scan the pages into the computer and then using optical character recognition software to translate the scans into text. However I have no experience doing this so I cannot speculate about the results. I expect that someone would have to edit the files that the character recognition software created.

Sometimes low tech is a good approach. I'm sorry that I don't have a better and more technical solution. I decided to reply to your question because I suspect that any high tech solutions may disappoint you and cost too much money.

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May be the best option

by steve.bodman In reply to Low tech solution

Thanks for your response.
We have some high school youth who are tech savvy that are in need of a service project -- a combination of the "flatbed scanner / OCR" solution appears to be our best bet - and I thank you for the suggestion.

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