Kodakery

I completed a large project to digitize a collection of Kodakery. Eastman Kodak used that title twice. The first Kodakery was subtitled: “A Magazine for Amateur Photographers.” That one was published in both the US and Canada from 1913 to 1932. It is the second Kodakery that I worked on. That one is very familiar to many former Kodak employees as “A Newspaper for the Men and Woman of Eastman Kodak Company.” That was issued biweekly from March to May 1943. Then it was issued weekly from June 1943 to 1985. After that it was issued mostly monthly until it was discontinued in 2005.

I obtained 2 collections of Kodakery. I ended up with 155 issues from between 1943 to 1950. I really wanted to digitize them as not only do they have news of new items being sold by Kodak but they also tell about the people working at Kodak at that time and also people that are retiring after long careers at Kodak. Plus there are notices of engagements, marriages and births of children of Kodakers. There is usually a page of photos of various types. The last page is usually sports of the season.

The Kodakery issues were too big to fit on my scanner. Larry Lavery of the Rochester Genealogical Society’s Church Record Preservation Committee came to the rescue. He brought over the camera and frame over to my house and showed me how to use it. It took up my whole dining room table but I was able photography the whole collection that amounted to about 1250 pages in just 2 days.

Then came the difficult part of the digitizing job. The editing ended up taking just over 3 months. I had to open each image and crop each page. Then straighten the image. Each image had to be color corrected which involved lightening the image without washing out any pictures on the page. Most issues were 8 pages and after I completed an issue, I used Adobe Acrobat to assembly the pages together into a PDF document. That program also preforms “optical character recognition” (OCR) on the new document. That is so when you do a search for a word or name within the document that you can find it without having to read every word. Acrobat supposedly is 98% accurate at OCR. But that is when you have a good clean document. None of the Kodakery issues was without minor problems. Still, you should find the text you are looking for.

Google will be able to find text within the issues. After much searching, I found out that Google performs it’s own OCR on each document. From the Google homepage, add “site:mcnygenealogy.com” and “PDF” (but without the quotes). From the GenWeb of Monroe County homepage,¬†go to the Google search box and just add “PDF” to your search. I also have a Pico Search box on the homepage. I only have the free version of that search and it doesn’t search PDF documents. You can also browse through each document or even download them. A recent addition to the website was a page of links to Kodak magazines, books and newspapers. That includes linked copies of the Kodakery issues (about 1/2 way down the page) and some other links to Kodak documents both local and elsewhere on the web.

Want other issues of Kodakery? The Rochester Public Library has a collection of original paper issues for the whole run. There may be some missing issues. The Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester also has a collection but I haven’t been able to find out what issues they have. They did receive a huge donation from the Kodak archives of many Kodak items that is still being processed.