Use Case: Archive Digitisation

State Chancellery Canton St.Gallen - Retrodigital: Processing the past for the future

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Overview

A total of 2'450 documents with creation dates back to 1941. In the spirit of the progressive digitisation of the Canton of St.Gallen, the Retrodigital Platform project was launched. In the future, it should be possible to access the various historical publications of the State Chancellery independent of time and place, as well as to simplify any necessary research.

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Task Icon_Case Study | Acodis
Task
Digitisation of historical document, the creation of a web application for sifting and structured search.
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Scope

Over 120'000 pages

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Services
OCR (Optical Character Recognition), text & structural analysis and creation of an editor.
„For my work as a lawyer, it is particularly useful that I can now access the referendum drafts published in the Official Gazette, as well as messages and drafts of decrees, from anywhere and at any time, back to 1970, and drafts of enactments published in the Official Journal. With the efficient search function, everything can be found quickly, which usually saves the time-consuming trip to the archives.”

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Marlène Schürch, Lawyer with the State Chancellery of the Canton of St.Gallen

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Starting Point

To comprehend the origin of a legal text or a government decision, it is necessary to view the corresponding official gazette. Until the realisation of Retrodigital, however, it was only possible to view this information physically in the state archives or in the archives of the state chancellery, which was then retrieved by the previously searched official gazette number. Due to the limited opening hours, as well as the time required for the manual search, this was until recently, a time-consuming task, which on some days occupied several employees. With the introduction of the home office obligation, the effort was increased even further by the journey. Even for historians who need the documents for family research, the physical inspection was inconvenient and sometimes involved long journeys.

In the spirit of the progressive digitisation of the Canton of St.Gallen, the Retrodigital Platform project was launched. In the future, it should be possible to access the various historical publications of the State Chancellery independent of time and place, as well as to simplify any necessary research.

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Our Approach

As a leader in Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), Acodis was commissioned to create the platform.

The total count of documents was 2,450 and their year of creation dated back to 1941.

Acodis created an expandable system that can be supplemented with other document types. The platform was also equipped with a search & filter function, which makes search queries more precise and faster. The search function also works as a full text search, which was a great relief and motivation for the legal staff.

Thirdly, Acodis created an editor which allows the State Chancellery to enter and maintain metadata in order to make it accessible later in a cleaned PDF.

Customer Benefits

State-of-the-art Technology Icon_Case Studies_Acodis

Big Step in the Direction of E-Government

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More Efficient & Location-Independent Research
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Immortalisation of Past Law Sheets

Outcome

By creating the Retrodigital platform, the State Chancellery is able to make historical publications accessible to the public, simplify and accelerate research, and successfully pursue the digitisation of the Canton of St.Gallen in cooperation with the State Archives. With Acodis' years of experience, this project was implemented quickly and successfully and the State Chancellery now has one of the most modern research tools for legal publications.

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