Founded in 1843 by Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, Macmillan Publishers Ltd established its credentials by publishing such great authors as Charles Kingsley, Thomas Hughes, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, henry James, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells.


The details of the works published by these great authors, published during the first 60 years of the company’s history, were contained in a ledger called ‘The Editions Book’. This was a very large hardbound ledger into which were written the details of how many prints were made of each publication and the price paid for them. The ledger covers the period from 1852 to the early twentieth century and has been a working record for historical printing and publishing detail right up to the current day. Hand written in beautiful copperplate script, these books provides a fantastic insight into the historical development of the publishing of fiction and non fiction in the United Kingdom from the very start of printing for the mass market. 

However because of their age and common usage, the books have become understandably fragile and as a result Macmillan needed advice and assistance when they wanted to bequeath this amazing practical record to the nation by sending them to the British Library where they are now part of the Macmillan Archive held there. Since they are still referred to regularly, Macmillan needed digitised versions that they could readily access together with a high quality image that would enable the books to be recreated in the future.


Macmillan turned for this advice to Adetiq, as the industry experts in document processing including the digitisation of rare and fragile books. In order to digitise the books Planetary technology was used, which enables a high quality image of each page to be captured in full colour with no damage to the pages, spin, covers or bindings. Advanced software then renders the images to virtually eliminate any curvature of the pages and produce high resolution colour images suitable for reprinting purposes.

In order to provide a useable electronic version of the books, a lower resolution PDF document was created which enables the viewer to flip to the required page within each book and instantly view the content on screen. Within our post-capture production, the team at Adetiq also enabled the pages to be printed or copied as desired allowing the original books to now be preserved whilst the historical content to still be accessible by both Macmillan staff in their day to day business, together with the general public and other academic researchers.

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