The images on these CDs are "NOT" pictures of
the original documents. These are 'enhanced 'tiff' (or 'tif')
images of the picture of the original document contained on US
government microfilm. That means that the original picture has
been changed to make it MORE legible. Faded pages or portions
of pages have been adjusted to make the faded writing clearer
and more legible where possible (it is not always possible, sometimes
there is just nothing left to enhance). This often brings out
names, dates, etc. that are nearly invisible on the microfilm.
This may result in an image that appears very dark at first but
when zoomed in on, will become black writing on a gray background
that is quite legible though these pages will use a lot of ink
if you try to print them out.
Pages that are very dark from changes in the paper, mold,
water damage, or whatever are lightened so that the underlying
writing is visible and legible. Again, we are not always successful
in getting everything that was on the original at the time it
was first written but we get most of it.
In enhancing the pages, we often run upon the situation
in which one scan can not be adjusted to show everything that
we can get. In those cases, several scans of the page or portions
thereof will be included on the disk so that you get everything
that it is possible for us to give you from the documents.
Problems you may
encounter in the pages that we have no control over are:
Fading - some pages or portions
thereof are faded so badly that no usable information can be obtained.
These will be labeled as 'illegible'. Pages that have some information
but are significantly faded will be suitably notated.
Doubling - some pages (usually
from the 1900, 1910, or 1920 census) show an out of focus characteristic
that results in doubling of the image of the letters. It may be
an entire page or just a line or two on a page. The degree of
doubling varies quite a lot. If severe, this writing can be very
difficult to read. There is nothing we can do for this problem.
In a few rare cases, an entire roll of film will show this effect.
Out of Focus - some pages were
not in focus when originally filmed. Again, this situation can
vary a great deal but in general, the writing has a fuzzy appearance
and may be difficult to scan in a legible manner. We can do nothing
about this condition.
Darkening -some pages have
darkened substantially before they were microfilmed. This may
cover the entire page or only certain parts. Most pages show considerable
darkening along the sides and the corners and this may progress
toward the center in some cases. We can usually remove most of
this but some will always remain. Any of our images that still
contain this characteristic have been processed as much as possible
on our equipment. The recommended viewer will often still show
you much of the underlying information in these areas though some
will be lost. Dark areas are often better viewed
at a 'zoom' factor of 100% and approximately 24 inches from the
Darkening (2nd type) - Sometimes
pages have darkened somewhat over most of the page at the same
time the writing has faded. This presents a problem where removing
the darkening also removes much of the writing as their tones
are so close together. The only effective way to remedy this problem
is to set the machine's sensitivity to a level just below that
of the writing on the page. This results in a completely gray
page with black or dark gray writing. This often brings out writing
that had faded almost to invisibility. The text, however, though
general quite easy to read, will sometimes require some perusal.
There is always some loss of data on these pages as some of the
writing will, invariably, have disappeared entirely.