NEW YORK — Oct. 27, 2021 — Digital Transitions, a leading global provider of high-resolution digitization solutions and services, today announced a partnership with The HistoryMakers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution and the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, to scan the historical personal collections of many interviewed for the archive. Imaging experts from Digital Transitions’ service division, Pixel Acuity, will use highly specialized equipment and AI-driven processes such as handwritten-text recognition, object classification, and notable individual recognition to optimize image quality and metadata capture for digital assets within each collection.
Founded in 2000, The HistoryMakers has interviewed almost 3,400 African American leaders and offers the most extensive effort to record the Black experience since the WPA Slave Narratives of the 1930s. This cultural heritage digitization project will bring to life the rich and compelling testimonies captured within The HistoryMakers’ already extensive collection. The project originates from an urgent need to salvage endangered primary materials across the United States and will expose significant aspects of twentieth Century African American history currently missing from the historical record.
Digital Transitions and The HistoryMakers will deploy a mobile operation to collect and digitally preserve the material, securing the collections for generations to come. Digital Transitions has participated in similar heritage preservation projects and is familiar with this workflow model.
Digital Transitions’ hardware division, DT Heritage, will supply best-in-class, preservation grade, digitization solutions, including AI, machine learning, copy systems, scanning platforms, and automation software. Their service division, Pixel Acuity, will combine these advanced technologies with adaptive workflows to preserve the various materials, including photographs, scrapbooks, letters, speeches, and other historically relevant documents that highlight and contextualize a person’s life and career.
“We are thrilled about this unique partnership. Digital Transitions and their service division Pixel Acuity are giants in the field of digital preservation,” said The HistoryMakers founder and president Julieanna L. Richardson. “They have stepped forward to help us rescue the personal collections of our HistoryMakers by using state-of-the-art digitization combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to share this unique documentation of African American life, history, and culture with the world.”
“The HistoryMakers is the foremost keeper of the country’s African American oral history and culture. We’re honored that The HistoryMakers organization has entrusted DT Heritage with this incredible undertaking,” said Peter Siegel, owner and founder of DT Heritage. “The HistoryMakers’ digitization project is a great example of how organizations can make their treasures available to the world through the power of high-quality imaging.”
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About The HistoryMakers
The HistoryMakers, nonprofit headquartered in Chicago, has grown to be the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive. This one-of-a-kind collection is housed permanently at the Library of Congress and contains almost 3,400 video oral history interviews of African American leaders from 413 cities and towns, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Norway across a variety of disciplines – including the arts, business, civic engagement, education, entertainment, law, the media, medicine. With education as its mission, The HistoryMakers website and digital archive provide an unprecedented and irreplaceable record of African American lives, accomplishments, and contributions through unique first-person testimony.
Connect With The HistoryMakers Digital Repository of the Black Experience:
A leading provider of digitization hardware, software, and services, Digital Transitions has enabled organizations and individuals around the globe to activate and leverage their physical heritage archives. Whether customers are looking to build their own internal digitization program or hire a team of experts to preserve their heritage collections, Digital Transitions is the partner of choice for best-in-class, preservation grade, digitization solutions.
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