For some many years now, we have been active in the archival of documents, maps, manuscripts and books for clients together with the design and management of huge databases, and it was decided that in conjunction with a near-obsession with genealogy, local history, cartography and topography in general, it was about time we put our skills to some good purpose and start archiving for ourselves.
The main benefit of such work, is because these old books are becoming extremely fragile and any unnecessary wear or mechanical stressing can cause rapid deterioration, to a point where repair or rebinding is never going to reinstate the work to its full former glory. Originally the CD ROM was the medium of choice but as faster internet access is enjoyed by so many, we are now offering the books as downloadable files. The option of a physical CD or DVD remains an option for a very small charge, but this lacks the immediacy of a download, something an enthusiatic researcher often desires!
It was considered somewhat self-indulgent just to preserve a modest number of books for in-house use and the idea of running a small-scale archival and preservation service of popular books as an adjunct to the normal “day-job” intended as a non-profitmaking concern – seemed a good idea (at the time!).
So it was decided to subsidise this operation so that we can all share these rapidly fading (often literally!) and invaluable research resources. Obviously the subsidy is extremely high, in time as well as money, but we feel it is too important to ignore.
Therefore we are actively acquiring or seeking access to relevant old books, with the intention of producing small runs of specialised directories, maps etc.