Use Case: Archive Digitisation

City Archive Zurich: Data Extraction & Conservation of Youth Welfare Records

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Overview

The City Archives of Zurich preserves over 33'000 alphabetically sorted index cards for youth welfare, gathered from the years 1920, to 1980.

Until recently, those files were solely available in physical form and the searching process was time-intensive and perplexing.

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Task

The digitisation and extraction of metadata of archived index cards for youth welfare cases.

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Scope

33'000 index cards

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Services
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and
data extraction.
It would have cost us much time to digitize the index cards by ourselves. With the automated solution by Acodis, the manual work was reduced significantly, and we could invest in a promising technology for the future.

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Anja Huber_Stadt ZH | Acodis
Anja Huber, Project Manager at the Zurich City Archive

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Starting Point

The Zurich City Archives, as the final archive of the Zurich City Administration, preserves, among other things, the case files of the City Youth Welfare Office from the years 1920 to 1980. Until now, these files could only be searched and found via a physical index of approximately 33,000 alphabetically sorted index cards. Until now, finding specific case files was a time-consuming and multi-step process, for which several different documents had to be retrieved.

To make the search easier and more efficient, the City Archives planned to digitise the tabs and incorporate the contents into the internal archive database. Manual processing would have been too time-consuming, which is why automated information extraction was sought.

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Our Approach

As an expert in intelligent document processing, Acodis was tasked with extracting the defined metadata and preparing it for integration into the archive database.

Acodis received scanned versions of the tabs, which were then converted to PDF documents. With the help of the text recognition software, the documents were processed, and the extracted data checked, normalised and validated. In a structured version, the information could be prepared for integration into the system in a final step.

Customer Benefits

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Increase the Efficiency of Their Searches

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Save Time & Resources
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Clear Record Keeping

Outcome

Thanks to the digitisation expertise of Acodis, the Zurich City Archive was able to increase the efficiency of their searches, save time and resources and enable a clear way of record-keeping. 

The city archives can now locate case files, as well as case numbers with the corresponding names, places and dates, within a few seconds. This means that the archive can help its customers more quickly and with greater accuracy. 

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