Here it is: Volume 6, Issue 1, May 1994. A scan of the first of the rescued journals

The first journal embed is up, I’m not sure it’s wide enough, but will adjust that another day, it’s getting late and I’m fiddling with two laptops on the free wifi in the Mall.

I’m pretty excited, I think the OCR is good. It’s better than my own OCR software, I certainly recommend checking this out (later) if you need to convert a scan to searchable text:

The little scanner from eBay doesn’t do color very well, it defaults to Black and White (reason for the sale?), so the ivory covers of the journals don’t show up. You’ll have to imagine it: back and front, inside back and front: ivory.

That said, I am pleased to present the first journal scanned from the lot I acquired on eBay this month to really kick-start this web site. Here it is, Volume 6, Issue 1, May 1994, just click on the cover photo (or on the title below it) to visit the embed page:

TAD Volume 6 Issue 1 May 1994
The Amateurs’ Digest
Vol. 6, Issue 1, May 1994

You will notice there is now an asterisk (*) on the 1994 tab in the top horizontal menu at this web site. Whenever I add material to a date on the menu, I will add an asterisk to the year, so you don’t have to search all the years to see if there’s anything in them. Just go straight to the “star”.

The scans of the little 7″ x 8.5″ journals were done at 300 DPI as bmps. Each bmp is 2049 x 2534. All were then converted to PDF using IrfanView. The edges were then cleared up using the same IrfanView. The individual PDFs were linked into a single journal using PDF Tools.

The final searchable (OCR’d) PDF is hosted online in Scribd, for the purpose of embedding it here, at The Amateurs’ Digest Archive.

The final document is 100% free to read online, you can even copy snippets of text, but downloading has been disabled. I really don’t think it would be fair to have zillions of PDF copies all over the Internet being used for whatever purposes. Copyright belongs to The Amateurs Digest Archive and to me, Marina’s daughter: according to her Will, her Executor and sole Heir. Eventually, as volumes become complete, I might consider producing them in Volume groups in the form of paperbacks.

However, I see that Marina had a special issue with each volume, and I’m not yet sure what that means. Did Marina enhance one of the six annual issues and call it “special”, or did she produce a seventh issue as a “special issue”? If you know, please tell me, because if they are extra, I will have to find the special issues.

Yes, the National Library and Archives of Canada (it seems to have been denationalized lately by changing its name to Library and Archives Canada, which I reject), does have Marina’s ISSNs, after all, but they don’t show up on a direct search of their catalog, Amicus; I only found the records by way of links to the ISSN’s at Worldcat.

The copies of Marina’s journals at The National Library and Archives Canada are in preservation off-site, and this usually constitutes a serious problem for researchers, because they don’t bother to photocopy or scan them before they put ’em in the “freezer”. So, there is no copy of any kind to consult unless you take a bus to Ottawa, stand in front of the preservation facility and peer through the glass. Or have a protracted email argument with the librarians who really resent having to get things out of preservation to scan them, as I know because I’ve done it before. And their scans are not going to be publication quality and they won’t let a guest walk in and do it.

So, the National Library and Archives of Canada may not be a great place, after all, to get copies of Marina’s old journals.

I will have to keep scouring the Internet and call on friends and colleagues of Marina’s to come up with things. Notably, with special issues, CD Roms, and in the internet era, PDF booklets that Marina was dispensing. In particular, I would like to find the old CD ROMS because I presume the plant photos contained would be larger and much nicer to work with today, on this web site.

I have given Marina’s old advertisers a boost by adding their names to the TAGS on this post and on on the embed-page, so if these growers are still in business, they may get some visitors looking for them.

It may be awhile before I scan another one of these journals, because this one took hours. I’ve been at it since noon today, and it’s now nearly 21:30 in Montreal. However, I will do one every time I need a break from my regular work, which has taken a back seat to getting this basic site online, for now.

I hope you all enjoy the newly scanned, old paper issue of Marina Welham’s The Amateur’s Digest from May 1994 (Volume 6, Issue 1). Please let me know if you recognize any of the contents from her later web site, because I wonder if she re-used — pardon me: recycled — any of her paper journals when she took the magazine live.

Here’s to you, Marina!

Kind regards,
Have a great day.
I’m Kathleen,
Marina’s daughter
Montreal, Canada

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