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$4,792
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, August 6 2019 3:30 AM UTC +00:00.

$4,792
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
98
backers
13days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, August 6 2019 3:30 AM UTC +00:00.

About

We hold a one-of-a-kind, nearly continuous collection of 42 years of historic Daily Picayune and Times-Picayune newspapers which must be photographed and digitally archived before disaster or decay can claim them. A high-speed scanner for large, delicate documents is being held for us at a bargain price. Help us continue this vital process today and build a system to deliver the news... a second time. 

How did 30,000 newspapers fall in Joseph Makkos's lap?

For years, material culture enthusiast Joseph Makkos salvaged letterpresses and boxes of rare lead type from local print shops. He was trawling through Craigslist one day in 2013 when he came upon an ad for a "historic newspaper collection." Mere hours later, he had become the proud owner of a Times-Picayune archive from 1888 up to 1929, a collection originally among the newspaper holdings of The British Library, carefully yet mysteriously preserved in some 30,000 airtight tubes.   

Inspired by other print conservation efforts, Makkos launched New Orleans DNA, not just to preserve this trove but also to pursue a way to release it to the true owners of this shared history: the public.

Currently, the entire collection is meticulously preserved and housed safely at our New Orleans headquarters where it will stay in the original Mylar sleeves until we have the full capability to process and re-enter it into record with our proposed unprecedented image quality and data utility. The physical original papers will also be preserved for research and exhibition purposes.

Scanning & Digitization

Our next major undertaking is to scan and digitize the entire New Orleans DNA holdings--over 500,000 sides of newsprint & special supplements, mostly from The Daily Picayune and Times-Picayune from 1888-1929, a collection unrivaled in both continuity and condition. 

Futureproofing the Past

As the Times-Picayune published its final issue on June 30, 2019, we are reminded that the storied era of paper publishing is drawing to a close. Without proper preservation and digitization, the publications that have been generated over the last 150 years will be, quite literally, left in the dust--rotting in private collections and musty library basements. Let's not let that happen to this collection!

Our Process

Our signature scan-to-database process is designed by archivists and data scientists and powered by high-speed scanners intended for these delicate documents. We will extract over forty years of material to produce and publish to the world a massive digital collection of previously unpublished vintage illustrations and typography as usable vector graphics, decades of information as fully searchable data and live text, and even photographs--which machine learning can even enhance, recolor, and geolocate. 

These efforts are crucial steps in the creation of an online educational database: providing a new generation of tools for researchers and designers with access to higher quality content at a moment in time when the Public Domain is open again

Even though a current archive does exist, it is of low-quality: just 72 DPI reverse-engineered microfilm, in black and white only. Our process will be higher quality, which will allow for much more accurate OCR (Optical Character Recognition) as well as preserve important color illustrations, rotogravures, and the details of photography that would otherwise be lost.

Here is an example of a 72 DPI low-resolution scan produced from microfilm:

Here is a what is possible with higher resolution scans using a state-of-the-art scanner:

The Acquisition

To equip us for this next stage, we must acquire a scanner with the speed, careful handling, and camera detail to process such an enormous collection in an effective and nondestructive manner. A WideTEK 36DS Wide Format CCD Duplex Scanner, valued at over $25,000, is being held for us by a private seller who will deliver it for an initial deposit of $10,000. We also will need to acquire some hard disc storage to back up the files on our server. When the digitization is complete, these tools will also allow us to continue other preservation projects of historical materials.

That's where you come in. 

Your support will enable us to acquire this scanner and begin the scanning process in earnest, and bring these incredible visual, cultural, and data assets to the public.

Our Rewards

In order to appropriately thank our backers for supporting us in this effort, we are making available as Kickstarter rewards a selection of our upcoming line of handmade and custom goods, all derived from our archives... products that are not yet available in stores anywhere. 

Our historic color postcard reproductions, scanned from originals
Our historic color postcard reproductions, scanned from originals

Please support our project to safeguard our collective history, and take a look at all of our rewards to see if this historic content has a place in your home!

"Society 1900" snapback ball cap
"Society 1900" snapback ball cap
large scale one-of-a-kind metal reproductions
large scale one-of-a-kind metal reproductions
"New Orleans: Tell the World" Canvas Tote
"New Orleans: Tell the World" Canvas Tote
Our Lady Bullfighter tee features art from The Daily Picayune's May 15, 1896 article, "Girl Bull Killers", about an exhibition by female bullfighters from Barcelona
Our Lady Bullfighter tee features art from The Daily Picayune's May 15, 1896 article, "Girl Bull Killers", about an exhibition by female bullfighters from Barcelona
New Orleans "Tell The World" buttons
New Orleans "Tell The World" buttons
Postcards set: advertisement reproductions letterpress printed on super thick 600GSM cotton
Postcards set: advertisement reproductions letterpress printed on super thick 600GSM cotton
New rewards: Three tees with graphics freshly pulled from our collection, never before used!
New rewards: Three tees with graphics freshly pulled from our collection, never before used!
Our sketchbook collection is printer and assembled in New Orleans with graphics from historic New Orleans newspaper advertisements from the Jazz Era
Our sketchbook collection is printer and assembled in New Orleans with graphics from historic New Orleans newspaper advertisements from the Jazz Era

Risks and challenges

We will clearly need a league of volunteers and some paid staffing to accomplish this task, but the acquiring the proper equipment remains our largest obstacle.

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Support

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    New Orleans "Tell the World" Button

    Handmade 2” button printed with New Orleans “Tell the World” art from the Picayune archive.

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    Historic Ad Reproduction Postcard MAILED

    You will get a historic advertisement postcard, printed in letterpress on premium cotton rag paper, mailed from New Orleans to anywhere in the USA!

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    Musical Instrument Notebook + Button

    This is a local pickup ONLY reward for friends and family here in New Orleans! You get a "New Orleans Tell The World" button and a 2.5"x4" notebook featuring a vintage musical instrument illustration - handcrafted and made right in our shop in New Orleans!

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    Musical Instrument Sketchbook 6x9 or 9x6

    You will get a historic musical instrument sketchbook containing 40 sheets of nice writing paper, saddle stitch bound! You can choose from a 6x9 or 9x6 sized book w/ several different instruments to choose from!

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    Historic Postcard Reproduction 8x10

    You will get a historic enlarged reproduction postcard printed in our shop and dry mounted to foam core!

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    "New Orleans Tell the World" Canvas Tote

    Featuring "Tell the World" graphic from the Picayune archive. Handprinted in New Orleans.

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    "New Orleans Tell the World" T Shirt!

    Here is our local pickup only SPECIAL. This is an "Up-Cycled" t-shirt featuring the "New Orleans - Tell the World" graphic from the Picayune archive. Handprinted in New Orleans.

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    8 Letterpress Postcards - Vintage Ads

    Advertisements pulled from the NOLA DNA Picayune collection, letterpressed 100% cotton rag, variety of colors and mixed designs per 8 pack.

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    Lady Bullfighter T-shirt

    "Delivering the Death Blow" - this art accompanied a feature in an 1896 Picayune, describing an upcoming performance by Barcelona's controversial female bullfighting troupe. Printed in New Orleans.

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    Bootleg Whiskey T-shirt

    This art is drawn from an issue of the Times-Picayune in which fine rotogravure printing was employed to show off the photographs featured in the spread.

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    5 Music Notebooks - Mixed Pack

    5-pack of hand-bound, premium paper notebooks featuring original art from the Nola DNA collection. Each pack contains one of each size:
    9x12” notebook
    6x9” notebook
    6x6” notebook
    4.5x6” notebook
    4.5x3” notebook

    The instruments printed on the covers of these saddle-stitched notebooks are mixed and may include vintage advertisement illustrations of: piano, saxophone, clarinet, drum kit, guitar, mandolin, gramophone, trumpet, trombone, and violin. The backs of the notebooks include, when possible, the original advertising copy that accompanied the illustrations.

    Want to make sure a specific instrument gets in your pack? Just ask!

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    Hubig's 1923 T-shirt

    This black-and-white ad was found in a 1928 issue of the Times Picayune. In celebration of New Orleans' favoirte handpies returning to market, we have recolored the art with the classic Hubig's hues!

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    "Good Luck" Nola DNA T-shirt

    Composite of graphics and lettering treatments from our archive, including a Dec. 1913 ladies fashion cover.

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    1900 "Society" Baseball Cap

    A gorgeous snapback cap with a "Society" logo on the front in Gold and Purple.

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    Tote + Button + Postcards + Bonus

    You get the Tote + a Button + 5 postcards + a bonus (lagniappe!)

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    Tote+Button+Postcards T-shirt + Bonus

    You get the Tote + a Button + 5 postcards + T-shirt + a bonus (lagniappe!)

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    Hat + Bullfighter Tee Shirt + Button

    You get the Tote + a Button + 5 postcards + T-shirt + a bonus (lagniappe!)

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    Picayune Art Reproduction Print

    We will work with you to select an image or side (entire sheet) from our historic collection of newspapers including Times Picayune, Daily Picayune, and more. We will print it on archival fine art stock, and mail it to you rolled. Frame it, scrapbook it, do whatever you want! It's a reproduction!

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    Tote+Button+Postcards+T-shirt+Notebooks+

    You get the Tote + a Button + 5 postcards + T-shirt + 3 Notebooks + a bonus (lagniappe!)

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    Ready-to-Hang Picayune Art Reproduction

    We will work with you to select an image from our historic collection. We will print it on quality stock and mount it with archival adhesive to acid-free, pure black foamcore. Your choice of one 24x36" piece or two 18x24" pieces (different designs? No problem!). Each piece comes with a simple hanging fixture attached to the back for instant installation.

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    The Complete Package!

    This is the COMPLETE PACKAGE! you get three buttons, a postcard reproduction mailed to you, a Bullfighter T-shirt, a "Tell The World" tote, a complete 10 postcards set, our musical instrument notebook set, a special enlarged full-color postcard reproduction 12x18, as well as a ready to hang art-print of a newspaper cover + lagniappe surprises!

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    Oversized Metal Print - You Choose Image

    We will work directly with you to select an image from the New Orleans DNA archive of your choosing. Our familiarity with the archive's contents will allow us to handpick compelling options on almost any subject you propose. The art you select will be laser printed in black directly onto an oversized, pure aluminum sheet for display in your home or business. Truly one-of-a-kind, statement décor. Max dimensions: 4' x 6'

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    Custom Printed Fabric of Your Choosing

    We will work with you to source images from our collection along a subject of your choosing. Our designer will prepare and produce an exquisite, original pattern and work with a printer to produce, just for you, ten yards of 54" wide fabric in your choice of material! (Additional yardage available, just ask.)

    Fabric options (100% polyester unless otherwise noted):
    1.59 oz Voile
    2.32 oz Batiste
    6.10 oz Textured basic
    6.10 oz Luxury satin
    7.82 oz Heavy linen
    6.0 oz Sateen (100% post consumer repreve)
    7.08 oz Faux linen
    4.98 oz Taffeta slub
    4.63 oz Faux sheer linen
    8.12 oz Duck
    3.6 oz Twill
    6.49 oz Satin chenille
    8.46 oz Plain weave
    8.16 ozStretch knit (86% Polyester / 14% Spandex)
    5.6 oz Mini herringbone
    5.74 oz Matte chenille (90% Polyester / 10% Nylon)
    6.10 oz Sateen blackout
    6.10 oz Textured blackout
    11.09 oz Sparkle chenille
    10.62 oz Velvet

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    Live Onsite Custom Printing

    We will set up a live printing station at your organization's event or your private party. We'll share printing history with your guests while demonstrating the process before their eyes.

    Your choice of screenprinting (garments or posters) or letterpressing (postcards or coasters). Includes five hours onsite including setup and breakdown, plus onsite flashdrying of products so they are ready to carry away and use!

    This package includes your direction in sourcing a graphic from our collection OR creating a totally custom graphic for you.

    Your choice of printing:
    - 40 units of single-color shirts, totes, or posters (up to 12x18")
    - 25 units of two-color shirts, totes, or posters
    - 100 single-color letterpress coasters or postcards

    Want to sell the work at your event? Someone from your team is welcome to table this demo!

    (Please note that you must purchase, in advance, the blank stock that meets your needs. We can assist with this process and securing the best price for you.)

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    Custom Wallpaper Design & Installation

    Looking for a truly unique room treatment? We will work directly with you to create a custom wallpaper design and installation for your home or business. The images making up the wallpaper will be hand selected from our rare collection of historic New Orleans images including postcards, newspaper advertisements, editorial illustrations, and themed collections of articles. This price includes fabrication and installation for up to 300 sq. feet of material (two walls of a 12'x18'x10' room). Naturally, if you support us at this tier and want additional material/installation, we will make arrangements for a reasonable cost.

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    Rotogravure Archival Edition

    We will make a custom, deluxe, short-run edition, of 10 rotogravure newspaper covers, circa 1923-1929. Meticulously restored and reprinted on archival cotton rag paper by one of the the finest mixed media photography printers in New Orleans. This will be suitable for a private or institution-level collection.

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    Pop-Up Archives Private Exhibit

    With careful consultation with the creative curators, we will assemble and display a temporary pop-up exhibit on a topic of your choosing, utilizing our original archives, to take place as a one-day event at a public or private location of your choosing. (Donor must also arrange for travel expenses~!)

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