Restoring Archival Documents with Digital Magic!

The Monroe Library Special Collections & Archives often deals with fragile and damaged historical documents. As material ages, especially paper, it often becomes brittle and easily torn. Additionally, materials sometimes come to us in a damaged condition. It is not always within our means to restore the document to its original physical form. However, the magic of digital reconstruction can produce a nearly perfect image which preserves the information on the document for future researchers. While not the most ideal option, creating a digital composite of the independent pieces of the document essentially provides a complete version of the document which may not have otherwise been possible.

This photograph composite of the 1947 graduates of the Loyola College of Pharmacy arrived in Special Collections & Archives in six pieces. As you can see, the pieces appear to have been cut apart with scissors.

Pharmacy Graduate Composite Before Digital Reconstruction

Pharmacy Graduate Composite Before Digital Reconstruction

After some expertly applied digital magic, this image was created which hides the tears and rips almost completely!

Pharmacy Graduate Composite Post Digital Reconstruction

Pharmacy Graduate Composite Post Digital Reconstruction

If there are any digital artists out there who would like to assist the Special Collections & Archives in reconstructing documents such as this, please contact us at

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

One Response to “Restoring Archival Documents with Digital Magic!”

  1. Al Yap Says:

    I love this post.It mirrors the past events. Al Scart is correct… This is a pride and a treasure to the school and the family of the person on the picture. A very long ago but still being restored. Great, Great Work!

    I salute it!

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