Document Scanning Project – Historical Collaborative

Document Scanning Project – Historical Collaborative

Collaborative Effort

The Indianapolis Public Library recently launched a Digital Indy collection that contains downloadable items – some of which date from 1853. This collection was made possible by a $1.8 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation to acquire and digitize more than 430,000 pages of Indianapolis Public School materials – the initial phase in the digitization project.

Download the press release from July 27, 2018

This arm of the project is part of a larger Lilly Endowment grant to also digitize histories of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department. Completion of all aspects of the project will occur by 2020.

Scanning Partner – Crossroads Document Services

stack of very old booksThe undertaking of such a huge goal to bring to light portions of our city’s history is one that relies heavily on the ability to make these historical documents usable, downloadable and readable. Records that date back 160 years are not always in the best of shape and they tend to be very delicate and fragile.

Staff at Crossroads Document Services, a division of Easterseals Crossroads, can convert all types of media into digital format. The agency’s technology strengths are complemented by highly-skilled, detail-oriented employees who respectfully handle the media with which they work. Crossroads Document Services was selected as the scanning partner for this digitization project because of its ability to provide special consideration and respect for documents dating back 160 years.

image of woman scanning book“We are honored to be a partner in this project that will make so much of our city’s history available to our community. Our scanning capabilities have literally opened pages and pages of unseen documents relating to our city’s schools.

The majority of the scanning was done by individuals with disabilities at Crossroads Document Services where revenue supports programs for adults and children at Easterseals Crossroads. This partnership represents a full circle of community engagement, ” said Patrick Sandy, CEO/President of Easterseals Crossroads.

How to Access Information from Collection

tub of very old booksThe Indianapolis Public School collection is searchable and downloadable. Of potential interest to users of the site might be the daily school newspaper published by students at Shortridge High School. Graduates and former editors of the Daily Echo – the Shortridge newspaper – include former US Senator Richard Lugar and author and Hoosier native Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Issues of the Daily Echo date back to 1898 and include 10,844 issues. During 1939, Vonnegut was a reporter and page editor of the Daily Echo; the collection can be searched for documents that contain his name.

scanned image of Shortridge Daily Echo September 26 1939 school paperSamples of what users may find include this front page of the Daily Echo dated September 26, 1939, where Vonnegut was named chairman of the social committee.

The collection is an invaluable research tool for historians, educators, researchers, alumni and history buffs.

Search the Indianapolis Public Schools collection here.

Quality Process for Book Scanning

Quality Process for Book Scanning

High-volume historical book scanning at Crossroads Document Services is a multi-step process, requiring a scanning crew and a quality control team as well as indexers to rename the digital files before delivery.

While the specialized equipment necessary to scan bound books is “really cool”—especially our Bookeye 4 V1A-C35 that scans bound books up to 14-inches thick—the unsung heroes of our process are the QC techs. These hard-working individuals review every scanned image, comparing the actual book page to the scan to verify accurate capture and legibility.

In addition, QC techs straighten and crop the digital pages as needed to make the finished product look as much like the original document as possible. It is an exacting, time-consuming, and often challenging job that requires constant focus and attention to detail. While this type of work does not suit everyone, it’s a great fit for members of the CDS quality team. They take pride in producing digital images that preserve history and help make it accessible through the Indianapolis Public Library’s Digital Indy Project.

Check out their work at and use the search term Crossroads Document Services to find some of the collections CDS has completed.

Experts in Historical Book Scanning

Experts in Historical Book Scanning

“You do realize no one else is doing anything like this…”

It was the first time Victoria Duncan, Digital Projects Coordinator for the Indianapolis Public Library, had visited CDS since we had installed three additional book scanning stations. The “this” to which she was referring was a huge 1920s scrapbook filled with nearly 600 fragile, deteriorated newspaper clippings glued in overlapping layers, sometimes a dozen or more per page.

employee scanning very old textbookBecause of its condition and complexity, the book presented major challenges to the scanning team. However, CDS employee Holly Fruin was up to the task. She took the initiative to purchase a sheet of Plexiglass and had it cut into nearly invisible strips she could use to hold back each layer as she imaged what lay beneath it. The resulting high-resolution color scans—sometimes ten or more per page—preserve the appearance of the original scrapbook while allowing each article to be clearly read. The process was tedious and time-consuming, but the results are worth it.

The scrapbook is just one of the hundreds of historical books Crossroads Document Services is scanning as the partner for the Indianapolis Public Library for a project funded by the Lilly Endowment. Under this project, CDS will spend the next three years digitizing early records from the Indianapolis Public Schools, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Indianapolis Firefighters, to create a major historical archive documenting much of the early infrastructure of the City. Since February, CDS has scanned over 58,000 pages of IPS records, mostly historical bound books.

Learn more about our capabilities as they relate to document services

View our capability statement for document services

Document Scanning Solutions for Rexnord Corporation

Document Scanning Solutions for Rexnord Corporation

image of two workers scanning documents

Crossroads Document Services recently completed a huge assignment for Rexnord Corporation, a bearing manufacturer located in Indianapolis. In March 2014, Rexnord contracted with Crossroads Document Services to scan all of the equipment operations/maintenance and quality manuals, totaling several hundred volumes, from their Indianapolis and Tennessee facilities. Most of these manuals were originals for equipment that had been in use for years, and many volumes showed significant wear and tear.

CDS scanned the manuals into legible images, providing a digital archive that allows access by multiple personnel and ensures the books will not be lost or deteriorate any further. At Rexnord’s request, CDS also provided clean paper copies printed from the digital files.

That project was completed in batches over the course of a year and utilized up to five employees to prep, scan and index the manuals. The success and excellent results of that project prompted a recommendation from Rexnord’s Purchasing Dept. to their Design & Engineering Department to use CDS for another even bigger job.

In March 2015, Rexnord’s Indianapolis Design & Engineering Department was faced with the daunting task of ensuring the security and access of their entire collection of large format engineering and facilities drawings, dating back to the early 1900s when the company was owned by Link Belt. Those drawings, totaling over 60,000, were their only copies, stored in 13 cabinets in the Indianapolis facility, and many of the originals were deteriorating badly. Rexnord needed a document solution to preserve these drawings and their history.

An insurance auditor recommended they have the drawings scanned. As a result of the previous excellent work and results delivered by Crossroads Document Services on the Maintenance project, CDS was chosen by the Design & Engineering Dept. to provide Rexnord’s document solution.

Each cabinet was picked up and delivered to and from Crossroads by the Crossroads transportation team. Every large format drawing from every cabinet was handled by the Crossroads Document Services team in a multi-step process that required a high level of complex judgment at every step. Because the documents spanned nearly a hundred years, there was a wide range of drawing types and conditions, requiring a variety of scanner settings to ensure excellent image capture to create the digital drawing archive for future reference.

Each digital drawing file was reviewed for quality and named with multiple fields, including drawing number, title, part numbers, machine numbers, etc. This data was then entered into spreadsheets, along with additional information about each document.

Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services, is very proud of her team and their excellent work. “I’ve been in the imaging business for over 13 years, and I know this job was technically difficult, but we have a highly-skilled crew that was up to the challenge. Special recognition goes to Sue Shinholt, who scanned most of the 60,000-plus drawings, and to Juanita Grant, who had to become very familiar with Rexnord’s machine and part numbers to enter most of the data over the course of the project.”

This job employed about six people at CDS, with two employees working exclusively on it for over a year and three to four others involved at various phases. The project was completed in June 2016 with excellent results and rave reviews from Rexnord’s Design & Engineering Department: “[We are] elated with the scans. This is going to really help us having these older drawings on file electronically, particularly with searchable data. Thank all of you for all your hard work.”

Caption left: Sue Shinholt became a large format scanning expert as she imaged most of the 60,000-plus Rexnord drawings. Caption right: Chrissy Shreves scanned many of the Rexnord maintenance manuals.

If your business is in need of Document Solutions, Crossroads Document Services can provide the following services with a great employment workforce at a fair cost in a reasonable amount of time:

  • High-speed production scanners with high output capacity
  • Large format production scanners with high volume capability
  • Book scanner capable of handling oversized ledgers
  • Professional imaging, OCR and indexing software
  • Microfilm / microfiche
  • Indexing / data entry
  • Conversion to multiple file formats
  • Secure, limited access to your information while in our possession

For more information, please contact us.

You can also email
John Nick, CDS Sales Manager 

Mary Jo Gremling, CDS Production Manager

Document Services Employee Spotlight

Celebrating Ability with Sue and Delbert

Sue left the US Army in 1990 after almost ten years of active military service and then began working at the Fort Harrison Finance Center in Indianapolis processing military paychecks. Due to her congestive heart failure, Sue had to quit her job.

She turned to volunteering when she started to feel stronger and she spent many years volunteering for Anne Traub in the Human Resources department at Crossroads Industrial Services. As Sue’s health continued to improve, Anne and Sue turned to the Employment Division at Easter Seals Crossroads and sought assistance in researching part-time employment.

Sue was quickly hired for a document scanning and preparation position with Mary Jo Gremling as her supervisor. “Sue’s attention to detail is exactly what is needed in document preparation. Companies entrust us with their documents and Sue is just the right employee for that trust, “ said Mary Jo.

Sue continues to be a volunteer for two organizations in addition to being a regular part-time employee at Crossroads Industrial Services. She wants to continue to make a difference for others because she feels so fortunate. “Sue lives her life making a very big difference for many people,” said Mary Jo.

Crossroads Industrial Services’ Document Scanning division offers comprehensive document management solutions. Utilizing our services to convert all types of documents into digital format provides our customers with an affordable, easy-to-access and secure archiving alternative to paper record storage.

Also featured in the video below is Delbert’s story. Delbert is a US Army veteran who faced unemployment. He found Veteran Services at Easter Seals Crossroads and his situation quickly changed. “Easter Seals Crossroads believed in me and what I could do. They helped me find employment opportunities and gave me the confidence that I had misplaced,” said Delbert.



Document Scanning: Do-It-Yourself vs. Outsourcing

Today’s post was written by Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services.

Are you weighing the pros and cons of tackling that document scanning project in-house? It can certainly be done, but such a venture requires a lot of thought, planning, and consideration to assure success without disrupting your entire office environment in the process.

Document scanning, while not “rocket science,” does require proper training and quality control to produce suitable electronic images. Remember, there is no room for mistakes—an error rate of even 0.1% means that one page in every 1,000 could be missing or unreadable, and that is totally unacceptable. Likewise, data entry must be accurate to ensure the record can be located and accessed after it has been scanned.

The Challenge of Do-It-Yourself Document Scanning

Using in-house staff to prepare and scan paper documents is one option to consider. This can be successfully performed with the understanding that the project will require at least two full-time employees (one to prepare the files and one to scan) as well as a workspace large enough to allow an efficient assembly-line process.

It is very important to carefully choose personnel for this project. Not everyone is detail-oriented enough to perform the repetitive, tedious task of removing staples and organizing pages. Nor does everyone recognize the importance of consistently capturing every piece of information in the file. Every scanned image should be viewed, checked against the original, and approved.

Your project will also require the use of a scanner fast enough to handle several thousand pages per day. While office scanners rated at 20-30 images per minute may work well on a go-forward basis, they are not robust enough to efficiently handle the initial work of scanning a large volume of documents. Whatever savings there may be in purchasing an inadequate scanner will be lost in the hours it will take to complete the project.

The scanner should have built-in fail-safe features to guard against more than one page feeding through at a time, resulting in lost information. Scanning software must allow images to be scanned into multiple-page PDF or TIFF files that can be named in an organized, logical structure.

Be aware that all imaging software does not produce the same results. Some have more file compression capabilities than others. Electronic file size can be an issue whether a business stores data internally on a server or uses a web-hosted system. Web-hosted services usually charge for data storage based on the total number of gigabytes used. The software provided with a multi-function machine (copier/scanner/fax) is not usually designed with this in mind.

Document Scanning: Do-It-Yourself vs. Outsourcing

Outsourcing: A Viable Alternative

While the do-it-yourself option may sound a bit overwhelming, there are more efficient ways to convert documents from paper to digital, decreasing the overall time required to complete the project and greatly reducing the stress on your office staff. One such option is outsourcing the scanning of paper records to an imaging service bureau.

An imaging service operates under a confidentiality agreement with each of its clients. All personnel who handle customer documents sign confidentiality agreements, and privacy requirements are strictly enforced. Records are usually transported to the service provider’s facility for processing.

At Crossroads Document Services, we have a fleet of vehicles for picking up any size shipment, from just a few boxes to many pallets of boxed or crated documents. We can also send our personnel to pack your files. We can even provide boxes! 

In a production scanning environment, a dedicated team efficiently removes all staples and paper clips, positions sticky notes, unfolds, smoothes and aligns all pages. Trained scanner operators using high-speed equipment evaluate every image on the computer screen as each page is scanned. Quality control steps are built into each process to ensure all images are legibly captured and correctly labeled.

Outsourcing the scanning of business records to a competent imaging service should be seriously considered when weighing the transition from paper files to digital. The actual cost of outsourced scanning is often significantly less than the expenditure of purchasing adequate equipment and utilizing staff to perform the work in house.

An imaging service specializes in performing the “grunt work” associated with scanning and can have all records prepared, scanned, indexed, and uploaded in a fraction of the time it takes for persons with little or no experience in scanning large volumes of documents.

Having all records digitized at one time can streamline the implementation of electronic records management, allowing your organization to make the transition without the confusion created by having some files in paper and others electronic for an extended period of time.



While the transition to electronic records is a major paradigm shift requiring buy-in from your entire staff, it can be accomplished far more easily if day-to-day operations are allowed to proceed as usual, with as little disruption as possible. Outsourcing document preparation, scanning, and indexing to a service that specializes in these tasks eliminates the need to distract staff from their usual responsibilities. The end result is a smoother, less stressful transition and quicker implementation, at a price that is often less than the cost of using your own employees to perform the project.

Call Crossroads Document Services at 317-897-7320, ext. 4230 to discuss your imaging project. We take the pain out of going paperless!

Mary Jo owned and operated eLucida Imaging from 2003 to 2013, when her Indianapolis-based company was purchased by Crossroads Industrial Services. She now manages Crossroads Document Services, located at 8302 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

On Friday, August 21, a crowd of 80 individuals in Carmel gathered together for their weekly Rotary Club meeting. Curtiss Quirin, Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services, was invited to speak about manufacturing solutions offered by our company.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Since joining Crossroads Industrial Services in 2009, Quirin has presented to multiple groups to discuss the importance of making a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities, special needs or challenges while also helping them understand how Crossroads Industrial Services can impact their bottom line.

From polystyrene recycling to contract manufacturing, Quirin outlined the major operations of the facility in a way that anyone could relate to, even those without advanced manufacturing or technical degrees. Crossroads Document Services, for example, can be used by any business who relies on paper for keeping track of important information, no matter how big or small they may be.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

ZOO Fans employs Crossroads Industrial Services to manufacture their product, which is sold to large grocery store chains to be used in the freezer and refrigerated sections. The ZOO Fans help circulate warm air into the chilly areas, allowing people to shop comfortably and for a longer period of time.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Crossroads Document Services prepares small and large files for scanning. This operation employs individuals who may be have ambulatory challenges and require sitting, or those with autism who enjoy repetitive tasks.

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Two trailer loads of polystyrene are recycled every day at Crossroads Industrial Services. Last year, two tons of polystyrene material was recycled.

At the end of the presentation, at least a dozen hands popped into the air to ask questions about how products are manufactured, where staff is recruited from, and how their business could work with Crossroads Industrial Services. In addition, State Representative Donna Schaibley of District 24 connected with Quirin to arrange a site visit with her and her team. Schaibley’s visit falls in line with our Calls to Congress initiatives where we are inviting our elected officials to tour the facility and learn more about our available resources.

Quoted from Schaibley’s Facebook page: “I attended the Carmel Rotary meeting yesterday and met Curtiss Quirin of Crossroads Industrial Services who spoke at the meeting. Crossroads employs many disabled members of our community doing contract manufacturing and document scanning, matching a persons individual skills to positions.”

Curtiss Quirin Presents Manufacturing Solutions to Rotary Club of Carmel

Are you interested in learning more about Crossroads Industrial Services and our manufacturing solutions? Schedule a site visit with us by calling 317-897-7320!

7 Ways to Identify a Good Document Scanning Company

Today’s post was written by Mary Jo Gremling, Manager of Crossroads Document Services.

Despite the popularity of desktop computers since the 1980s, most businesses still produce and handle mountains of paper. Even with good paper records storage, efficiently locating a specific document becomes more and more difficult as the volume of paper increases. That, coupled with the ever-rising cost of office space, often prompts a business or organization to seek the services of a document scanning company.

But how do you go about choosing a document scanning service? As a mother, I liken this process to selecting a good childcare provider. You wouldn’t hand your children over to just anyone who claimed to run a daycare. Neither should you choose a scanning service bureau without knowing it meets important criteria that insure your documents remain safe, secure, and protected.

1. Integrity—A good document scanning service should have an excellent reputation and be able to provide credible references. Contact these references and ask pertinent questions: What was it like to work with this company? What about the images they produced? Are they clear and legible? Do the file names make sense and help you find the information you need? Would you use this company again? Why or why not?

“Thank you for coming out to take a look at the work we have for scanning and shredding. We had such a good experience with your team last time, that there was no question as to who to contact for this project. Thank you again for your team’s excellent work!”

– City of Westfield, Crossroads Document Services customer reflection

2. Experience and Expertise—Can the scanning service handle your type of documents? Some imaging companies specialize in certain sectors, while others serve a broad range of organizations. Not all imaging services can scan fragile historical documents, large format prints and drawings, or bound books.

Crossroads Document Services scans for a variety of businesses and organizations. In the past two years, we have imaged historical property records, both large and small format, for the Indianapolis Airport Authority and the City of Westfield; an entire archive of engineering drawings and maintenance manuals for Rexnord Corporation; several special collections of photos, posters, programs, and scrapbooks for the Indianapolis Public Library; and a wide range of real estate, healthcare, personnel, education, financial, and automotive records. (And that’s not a complete list!) 

7 Ways to Identify a Good Document Scanning Company3. SecuritySecurity and confidentiality are of the utmost importance. Is the facility locked, with access limited only to employees during their scheduled shifts? Have criminal background checks been run on all employees? Is the facility alarmed and monitored by an outside service? Are 24-hour surveillance cameras in place? Are all employees who handle your documents formally trained to follow HIPAA and other privacy regulations and procedures?

All Crossroads Document Services employees are taught to respect the documents we handle as “sacred.” We have often recognized and returned originals that the client has not previously recognized as valuable (live checks, original student records of “celebrities,” etc.) so the originals could be retained by the customer instead of shredded upon completion of the project. 

4. Scanning Technology—Professional imaging hardware and software should be kept up to date. Does your service provider have the capacity to handle your job in a timely manner? Can they provide the file type you need (TIFF, PDF, JPEG, other)? How accurate is their OCR (optical character recognition) software? Can they provide cloud- or server-based solutions to help your company improve information access? How will they deliver your final electronic archive?

5. Quality—The object of every scanning project is to capture every image as legibly as possible to ensure the information on the page is readable and printable. Is your provider a “load and walk away” shop, or is the scanner operator visually verifying the capture of each image on the screen? In some industries, 99.9% accuracy is terrific, but in the document scanning world, that means one page of every 1,000 could be missing or unreadable! In image capture and data entry, your service provider should strive for zero defects.

As part of an ISO 9001:2015 certified business, Crossroads Document Services consistently upholds strict standards through our established process controls and quality systems.

6. Service—A good scanning company aims to make your job as easy as possible by offering a variety of services.

  • Consultation—Whether you have a complete vision for your project or are just beginning to discuss it, you should be able to count on your imaging service to help you plan a logical process and file-naming structure to make your project as pain-free as possible. Seek a scanning partner, not just a vendor.
  • Document Preparation—Don’t settle for a provider that makes you take out all staples, paperclips, etc. That’s their job!
  • Scanning—What do you need? Large format, small format, black and white, color, grayscale, high-resolution, fine art, bound books, ledgers, microfilm, aperture cards… Ask about capabilities.
  • Access—Worried about needing your records while they’re not in your office? A good service bureau can track your documents throughout the entire process and should be able to scan and upload requested documents quickly, usually the same day they receive your request.
  • Document destruction or return—Your documents should be handled securely all the way through the process. Make sure you have ample time to approve the final output before your provider has a certified shredding service dispose of the paper documents. Paper documents on hold for approval should be maintained in a securely locked area until they are shredded. Make arrangements with your provider if you want your paper records to be returned or put into long-term record storage.

7. Site Visit—Although they will have some restrictions in place because of confidentiality policies, a good scanning company will welcome a request for a tour of their production facility. Inspecting the facility where your critical business information is to be handled is an excellent way to check out all the points we’ve covered here.

Crossroads Document Services offers experienced, quality scanning for your personal and professional needs. To receive a quote, call Mary Jo Gremling at 317-897-7320, ext. 4230.

Mary Jo owned and operated eLucida Imaging from 2003 to 2013, when her Indianapolis-based company was purchased by Crossroads Industrial Services. She now manages Crossroads Document Services, located at 8302 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226.