Print to Electronic Text

I was really pleased to be introduced to the Special Collections archive of the McFarlin Library. I otherwise probably would have never stepped foot in there. Seeing the BLAST magazine in person definitely changed my original perception of the source, being familiar only with the digital version. The printed magazine was thicker than expected, though the online source did specify the number of pages. The bolded text seemed to have a more exaggerated presence on the printed source in comparison to its digital counterpart. This observation may be a little distorted especially considering the tangible amount of ink on paper needed versus the abstract number of pixels occupied by each digital element. Still, the same information is conveyed in both contexts.

Digitization of printed material does have its benefits. Although the process of copying a printed source to a digital format may result in degradation at the original text’s expense, the readability of the electronic source won’t degrade once the duplication process is complete. The pages wouldn’t crumble because of high acid content, the binding would never break, and molding would not occur (foxing). It seems that the strengths and weaknesses of electronic and print texts are complementary.


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