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Jakarta Post

Digitizing newspapers at Surakarta’s National Press Monument

Wed, January 3, 2018   /   12:59 pm
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    Shutter sound: Digital cameras are the main tool used in the newspaper digitization process at the National Press Monument in Surakarta, Central Java. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan.

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    Work in progress: Three employees digitize old newspapers. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan.

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    Attention to detail: An employee prepares a page for the digitization process. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan.

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    Missing piece: An employee shows a damaged newspaper. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan.

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    Handled with care: An employee stores an old newspaper into a plastic cover. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan.

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    Online exhibit: A visitor browses the digital newspaper library in the museum’s e-paper room. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan.

Maksum Nur Fauzan

Old newspapers can easily wither away without the presence of technology. An institution that preserves newspapers is Monumen Pers Nasional (National Press Monument). Located in Surakarta, Central Java, the museum has been digitizing newspapers since 2010, prioritizing vintage editions of which conditions are fragile.

The digitization process is carried out manually by three employees who use digital cameras. They can record 1,500 pages of newspapers per day, turning them into PDF or JPEG formats that are later made available to the public in the museum’s e-paper room. At the end of the entire process, the old newspapers are inserted into plastic covers to protect them from damage.

Rahayu, the newspaper curator at the museum, said a limited number of human resources had become a challenge in the digitization effort as they needed to visit various cities across the country to get physical copies of newspapers.