County Court Salvages 1,700 Boxes of Documents Damaged by Tropical Storm Irene

Disaster recovery team relies on software and scanners from Kodak Alaris to digitize flood-ravaged records dating back to 1795

Binary Code and Laptops

Tropical Storm Irene will go down as one of the most expensive category one storms in U.S. history. The storm cost $15.8 billion in damage1 , much of it caused by inland flooding. Recovering from a storm of this magnitude takes years, not weeks or months. Now, more than four years later, there are great signs of progress up and down the eastern seaboard, amid high hopes that the finish line is near.

One such place is Schoharie County, New York, where the local creek rose to record levels, causing massive destruction to roads, homes and businesses. Three tractor-trailer loads of county court documents dating back to 1795 were among the casualties. Completely inundated under five feet of water, the records were retrieved and treated using a remediation process to dry and restore them.

Schoharie County records

When the restoration process was complete, many of the valuable historical records were extremely fragile. The documents included a wide range of sizes, types and conditions. Many of the items were bound into oversized books, making it harder to scan them. Schoharie County faced an enormous challenge digitizing all the records to preserve them for their historical value and also to meet regulatory requirements.

Gentle transport for freeze-dried documents

With three tractor-trailer loads of remediated documents ready for scanning and digitization, Schoharie County Courts Chief Clerk F. Christian Spies turned to eBizDocs, Inc. of Albany, N.Y. The company provides service bureau scanning and document management solutions to a variety of clients in financial, healthcare, government and other industries, as well as selling document scanners from Kodak Alaris and content management systems.

“Based on in-house research and experience with our existing Kodak i4200 Scanners from Kodak Alaris, we knew they would be an ideal match for the unique demands of this project,” said Howard Gross, President of eBizDocs. “Their gentle transport system gave us confidence, and the flatbed attachment was another plus, as there were so many exception documents in this mix.”

The transport and paper feeding of the i4200 Scanner is extremely easy on fragile documents. About 90 percent of the contents in each box of records was scanned via the feeder. With 10 workstations in place, eBizDocs’ operators spent about 20 hours per box sorting and scanning. “It was a very labor intensive process in terms of carefully removing and determining how best to capture each document,” noted Gross.

A space-saving, user-friendly solution

The compact size of the i4200 Scanners makes them desktop friendly, and Kodak Capture Pro Software provides a common, user-friendly interface for all operators. “We are very happy with the quality of digitized records and the results,” noted Spies. “In many instances the scanned documents look much better in terms of contrast and legibility than the originals. And with records dating back to the late 1700s, the quality of the originals varies greatly. When you factor in the water damage, receiving PDFs of such consistent high quality is impressive.”

Completed, digitized files were entered into Schoharie County and New York State proprietary database systems. Moving forward the county now has digital access and greater safeguards in place for their historic documents.

About the Information Management Division of Kodak Alaris

Kodak Alaris is a new company driven by the simple belief that “we can always find a better way.” Our Information Management division helps organizations capture content from digital and paper sources, extract insights, and deliver the right information to the right place at the right time for better business outcomes. Our portfolio includes award-winning document scanners, a global service and support team, and software and solutions that capture and intelligently manage information. For small offices and large-scale organizations, we provide new ways to automate processes, improve customer interactions and make smarter business decisions.

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© 2015 Kodak Alaris Inc.

The Kodak trademark and trade dress are used under license from Eastman Kodak Company.

About eBizDocs

eBizDocs is an award-winning electronic document management service provider committed to helping companies, state agencies, local governments and other organizations find electronic solutions to otherwise inefficient record management systems. eBizDocs is a platinum-level reseller for Kodak Alaris.

1According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Media Contacts

Jonathan Ghent
Public Relations Director
Information Management, Kodak Alaris
(585) 310-5553

Martha De Labbey
Senior Account Executive
Text100 for Kodak Alaris
(617) 399-4931