Digitising the Diary of a Turkish Soldier

Staff member using digitisation equipment to scan diary

Digitising the Diary of a Turkish soldier, Refik Bey, who fought at Gallipoli, created a challenge for the digitisation team. One of the issues for the team was the tiny size of diary compared to the large size of our scanner. The diary was scanned on the Scan Master 0, which provides high quality digital scans at a resolution of 1200ppi (pixels per inch). The diary measures eight by five centimetres while the machines scanning range is 127 centimetres by 91 centimetres.

The diary, which is now over 100 years old, is very fragile. The Scan Master  provided the safest solution to scan the diary. Staff were very conscious of the delicateness of the diary and carefully ensured that the machine did not press the diary in between the glass plates of the machine, ensuring no damage to the diary occurred.

The original hand binding of the diary caused a slight skewing of pages when turned which became apparent during processing the final scanned images. This meant rescanning of some the pages in the diary. 

Flipping through pages of diary

Despite these technical challenges, it is fantastic to now have this rare diary preserved, promoted, and publicly accessible online. Supporting digitisation projects can make more special collections items available online.

 The diary has been translated and is available in UQ eSpace.

Last updated:
31 July 2020