Wooden Canoe Journal scanning project

Benson Gray

Canoe History Enthusiast
Staff member
The WCHA is starting a project to scan all of the Wooden Canoe Journals for distribution on CDs or DVDs. This will be too much information to put the entire set up on the web site permanently. They will be saved in version 7 of Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). The articles can be searched by keyword although some of the image captions and covers were not included.

The first thirty issues are at the scanning company now. We have discovered an interesting quirk with issue number one. It appears to have been printed on paper that was quite thin. There is an unusually high amount of ink to bleed through from the printing on the back side of each page in the copy that we are using. The articles can be difficult to read in some cases due to this. The usual trick of using a black backing page does not completely resolve the problem. Please let me know if you have a copy of the first issue which does not exhibit this characteristic and you would you would be willing to have it scanned for this project. Thanks,

Last edited:
Issue 1

Hi Benson,

My copy of issue 1 seems to be good. There is no ink transfer thru the paper at all. You can faintly see the type on the next page but it is REAL faint. I'd be delighted to lend it to be scanned.

Mark Adams
Issue number 27 back cover

We also need to find another copy of Issue number 27 to scan the back cover since mine has a small hole in it. Does anyone have one of these that they would like to scan or mail me the original?

The next twenty issues are at the scanning company now so things are moving along well there.

Many thanks to Mark Adams for his generous offer to scan or send his copy of Issue number one and I hope that he finds the time to take care of this soon. Please let me know if anyone else has another copy that we might be able to test scan. Thanks,

This is a great idea and my hats off to all and everyone who thought of it and is making it happen.
Many kudos to Michael Grace for sending scans of the back cover of Issue 27 and his photocopy version of Issue 1. These show less ink bleed problems on the text only pages. Some smaller examples showing this behavior are attached below for those with slow network connections.

The best solution will probably be to take the pages with pictures from the original and combine them with the text only pages from the photocopy to produce a single combined reproduction. If Mark Adams or anyone else can provide a better printed copy of an original Issue 1 then we may be able to do even better. Thanks to everyone for their help with this project so far.



  • Issue-1_Page-1.jpg
    125.8 KB · Views: 827
  • Issue-1_Page-3.jpg
    125.7 KB · Views: 863
Last edited:
The first 49 Wooden Canoe Journal scans are back. Some of the text has been garbled by the optical character recognition (OCR) process and issue number one still needs some work. Patty has also supplied the electronically created versions of issue 94, issue 95, and issue 98. The WCHA will be selling finished CDs of these once this project is complete to help recover some of the reproduction costs. I will be dropping off issue numbers 51 to 74 to be scanned starting tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Thanks,

Last edited:

Have just been noodling around in issues 1 to 10 as a result of this project. What a wonderful resource to have available! Many thanks to all who have been/are involved in this effort. Can't wait for the CD! I think I know how I will spend a fair bit of the winter :)

Thanks again to all.


It looks like this project is not going to be done as quickly as we had originally hoped. The first 49 issues had a processing parameter set improperly so all of the errors from the optical character recognition (OCR) process were transferred back into the document. (The Adobe Acrobat Paper Capture's PDF Output Style was set to Formatted Text & Graphics instead of Searchable Image.) The scanning company didn't keep copies of the original scans so this error can not be corrected without re-scanning everything. They decided to drop the project rather than start all over again. I have removed access to these samples and all references to them from my prior messages in this thread since the quality is so bad.

The attached images show enlarged examples of this problem. The title in the first image actually should say "Wood-and-Canvas" not "Wciod-and-Canvas" which is an obvious OCR error. Some words are enlarged OCR text and others like "hazards" are being stored in a bit mapped image format. I expect that most people would rather have these words all be a little bit fuzzy rather than obviously mis-spelled and improperly formatted.

Now I am looking for other scanning alternatives. One option would be to do this as an entirely volunteer project. Let me know if you have a scanner and some original old Wooden Canoe Journals from before 1999 that you are willing to scan. You could also attach an example Journal scan with at least 300 Dots Per Inch (DPI) in the Tagged Image File (TIF) or Graphics Image File (GIF) format. My estimate is that this would probably take me over fifty hours to do alone so twenty people might be able to get it done in an afternoon. I am also pursuing other commercial alternatives.

Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions or suggestions. Thanks,



  • problem.JPG
    106.2 KB · Views: 739
  • problem.jpg
    131.9 KB · Views: 741
Last edited:
I would be willing to help and volunteer to scan But sadly I am new to canoe stuff and have no copies of Journals.


Scanning Project


Count me in for volunteer help. I need a new scanner and this would convince me to purchase one. I have every issue and I could dedicate some time to help out if others join in also. Anyone else interested? How about a project from each Chapter?

Let me know,

We can probably arrange to get Journals mailed to volunteers with scanners and no Journals of their own. We have a total of five volunteers who have come forward so far. That works out to about 18 Journals per person so more help would be great. I also have Journals being tested to get a quote from another commercial service. Come one, come all, thanks,

Should we go the volunteer route, volunteers will need to be able to:

* scan at 300 dpi
* save scanned images in TIFF format
* upload images to an FTP server and/or burn images to CDROM

The ability to edit images (straighten, crop, clean up backgrounds, etc.) would also be welcome, but is not a requirement.

Questions? Post them here.

I can do all of those things, Dan.

I looked up who the Chapter Coordinator is for my state (IL) and found he lives very near by. I thought he might have some copies I could borrow, scan, and return to him.

So I sent him an email. But it was undeliverable. I think the email address is out of date.

I'll try harder to contact him.... I think he has a website.... hmmm....

Heh, heh. I can call him. Yeah, use a telephone. Never thought of that!

Somebody just shoot me,
I can scan and photo edit and all that neat stuff! Not sure about posting to an FTP site - I guess I'll have to hand CDs to Dan over a cold beverage. Count me in!
I can scan more journals as well. I have a full set in essentially perfect condition, so if someone wants to assign segments of the project I'll take whatever section is necessary.


I'm in Augusta & Readfield. Maine and we can scan either B&W or color and import them directly into OCR'd Acrobat 7 format. Happy to help if you want to provide the magazine copies.

Steve Hayes
Augusta, Maine
Scanning project


I have access to a scanner and can save in TIFF format. Unfortunately I don't have access to the journal back issues. I checked with a friend who is a charter member, but unfortuantely he joined the Coast Guard shortly after WCHA was formed and the journals never caught up with him. He does have Vols. 1-2 available. I haven't seen them so I don't know their condition. I am located in SE Ohio and would be glad to help if you are able to provide the journals to scan.