Our On Line Archive The ground breaking DMS
The Society had for a number of years been digitising its archive prior to 2018, but with the acquisition of large professional museum standard scanners, the number and quality of the archive material being preserved grew exponentially. By scanning our achive material we are helping to conserve it for posterity. At the same time, by making the digital copies available for inspection, we reduce the amount of handling of often delicate material. What was needed was a way of making this digitised material accesible witout the need to visit our Study Centre. To this end the archive material is hosted on a Document Management Software programme, hence our nickname ‘DMS’ when referring to the online archive.
The DMS fulfils four primary functions by:
Conserving in digital format, the physical archive we are acquiring and conserving.
Adding to our physical archive as we have been able to digitise archive material held at third party sites, many not scheduled to be digitised.
Allowing members full access to all records, and the public, by occasional and special arrangement, to specific information.
Supporting remote working, allowing volunteers to help develop the archive literally from the other side of the world.
In addition it provides access to a library of in excess of 800 publications covering both the contemporary L&NWR scene & through to the end of steam on British Railways.
One of the major benefits of Society membership is access to the DMS. Members only need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain their log in details and then they can explore the DMS at any time and from any location. The Study Centre remains open for visits and research but an increasing proportion of our archive material is available to view from the comfort of your own home.
Whilst we are able to boast that over 80% of our drawings and plans are digitised, only 11% of documents are scanned, mainly because a document might involve scanning hundred plus pages compared to the single sheet drawing. Our extensive photographic collection contains some 20,000 plus photographs, – official, commercial and those taken by enthusiasts.