Monday, January 3, 2011

My Christmas Present Came Today - Oh Boy!

My last Christmas present - the one from me to myself and I -  came today in the mail in a nice little package from the National Archives.  I wrote about this in All I Want for Christmas is... Isaac's Civil War Pension File! back on 15 December.

In the package was a CD with a 10 megabyte PDF file with 81 pages from the Pension File of my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1813-1901), my only known Civil War soldier.  I ordered online, coughed up $75 on my credit card, and it took all of 19 days!  Pretty quick...and efficient!  It's nice to see government bureaucrats providing excellent service!

Since I also have the "selected papers" version on paper, I'll be interested to compare the two sets. 

I briefly scanned the contents and saw many more affidavits than I previously had, and there are several medical history reports about Isaac that I didn't have before.  Unfortunately, there were no affidavits from relatives, friends or service comrades attesting to his life situation and service. 

I will probably transcribe some of these records for Amanuensis Monday or Treasure Chest Thursday posts in the coming months, and i'll definitely show them off at the CVGS Research Group meeting next month.

My biggest problem is how to obtain images from the PDF file so I can post them - I guess I can print them and scan them, which seems a waste of valuable time.  Oh well!

10 comments:

Patti Hobbs said...

Too bad you don't have a Mac. With a Mac, you can hit command+shift+4 and make a selection (on pdf, text, or image file) and it takes a snapshot and saves it to your desktop as a png file as soon as you release the mouse button.

Linda McCauley said...

You can clip from a PDF file. Go to "Tools" > "Select/Zoom" > "Snapshot Tool". Then highlight the area you want to save as a photo file (similiar to how you crop a photo in a photo editor). You will get a message that it's been copied. Then go to your photo editing software and paste it to a new file. Depending on your photo software there may be an option under "new" to paste from clipboard (PS Elements has that).

Jennifer said...

What a great present! I am so surprised at how quickly you got it. Maybe the service has gotten faster over the years?

Bokesliden said...

If you are using Photoshop, you should be able to open the pdf directly with that program and then save the pages you want as images.

Eileen said...

There are several PDF to JPG (or other image formats) converters available for free; just do a Google search on PDF to JPG.

GrannyPam said...

You can open the PDF files in Photoshop Elements, and save them as jpg. I have done so many times. If you don't have Elements or Photoshop, there may be other picture editing programs which will open a PDF and allow it to be exported or saved in a different format.

Rick said...

Many professional researchers are listed at www.archives.gov/research/hire-help and they usually (probably always) provide copies faster and cheaper. For example, I paid $17.75 for two Civil War service files (the National Archives would have charged $50) and $23 for two Civil War pension files (the National Archives would have charged $150).

Gerry said...

That is wonderful news. You're going to have a grand time with it and it'll be interesting to see what you learn.

OneNote - a program that came with the Office Suite and is something I thought I'd never use but that I use all the time - is handy for conversions too. You can "print" pages to a OneNote page just as you can to a printer. Whatever is sent to OneNote can be converted to a JPEG with a right click Save As. Very handy.

OneNote also allows you to copy text from the page as text, or to make text searchable. Its OCR function is rudimentary, but this can be a handy tool too.

Geolover said...

You don't need any special conversion program to clip part of a PDF file.

Use the snapshot tool in the PDF toolbar to select an area. Then open the MSPaint program on your PC, click once in white area, press "ctrl" and "v" keys simultaneously to paste the image. Save as *.jpg or other file format using the dropdown 'save as' menu.

The hoary old Paint program still works very well for such things.

Anonymous said...

Rick - those sound like good prices - who did you go with? There are tons of researchers on their - it would be nice to find a good one with fair prices that does more than one type of records...