Version 2.5 of this website is active as of September 1, 2022. All userids and passwords are the same, and any flagged records are still saved. If you find any problems, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the major changes:
VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL SIZED IMAGES
The ability to download original images from the website has been the most requested feature and we are happy to now provide it, although with some restrictions. You will now see a [Download] button above the toolbar when you are viewing an image. When you click it, a new page will open showing the original scanned image from the microfilm (or other source). These images vary from 500kb to almost 50mb so some might take a few seconds or longer to load depending on your internet connection. You can then download the images to your device, or print the page which has reference information above the image. See Note 1 at the bottom for information on how to decide.
Original images for all patent book pages and shuck images are available, but a few other categories of images have not yet been uploaded. See Note 2 for details.
Restrictions. Because of the added costs both to store the original high-resolution images and for the extra data traffic, each user is limited to downloading 5 images in a 24 hour period. You also must be registered with a verified user id (see below). We are considering adding some sort of very inexpensive annual subscription option to allow a user more downloads. If you want more details on the reasons behind this, please see Note 3.
Rotation. Sometimes the writing on the back of an image is upside down or vertical. This feature lets you rotate the image in 90 degree increments to make such writing easier to read. This only applies to how you see the image and is not permanent. The rotation icons can be found on the toolbar.
These features allow you to change the appearance of any image to make it easier to read. These adjustments only apply to how you see the image and are not permanent. Image adjustments are not available to unregistered (guest) users. There are some issue with adjustments not working well in some cases – see Note 4 at the bottom.
The adjustments are performed by clicking the [Adjust Image] checkbox. This will move the image toolbar to the bottom of the image, and show the adjustment controls.
Brightness. This will increase or decrease the overall brightness of the image.
Contrast. This will increase or decrease the overall contrast of the image.
Sharpness. This will increase or decrease the thickness of the lines on the image.
Invert. This reverses the dark and light colors on the image. In most cases the images are black text on a white background, so Invert will switch to white text on a black background – just like microfilm.
Sepia. This changes the background to a sepia color.
Threshold. This eliminates all the grayscale so the image it truly black and white.
USER / EMAIL VERIFICATION
Registered users use an email address and a password to sign into the website. However, we have never validated that the address is actually yours. This is generally not an issue unless you forget your password and used an invalid email address since that is how you can reset it.
The new image download feature restricts the number of downloads per user per day, so in order to monitor that we need to prevent people from creating a bunch of fake emails. The verification process is very simple: we send an email with a code to the address associated with your account, and you simply type that code into the website. This is a one-time process and is free. If you don’t need to use the features that require email verification, then you can continue as before.
STAY SIGNED IN
Both registered users and guest were automatically logged off whenever your web browser was closed or your device was shut down. There is now a checkbox on the Sign On page for registered users which lets them stay signed in for 2 weeks. If you don’t select this option, or the 2 weeks has passed, it will work as before and sign you off when you close the browser.
The type of information displayed on this website is more suited to a desktop screen or at least a tablet, so no effort was made for it to work well on a small screen like a phone. It will work, it’s just you had to do a lot of scrolling left and right and making the page smaller and larger depending on what you are doing. Since there are times when your phone is the only device you have available, we have made a few changes to make accessing the website a little easier.
Home page. Since the home page does not access data or images, it is fully mobile compatible.
Account pages. Pages such as sign on, registration, profile management do not access data or images, so they are fully mobile compatible.
Navigation. Mobile devices will get the “hamburger” icon menu (the 3 bars at the top) instead of the menu items listed across the top of the page.
Thumbnails. For mobile devices, thumbnails will appear as a single column so you can quickly swipe down to find what you are looking for.
METES AND BOUNDS PLOTTER (Experimental)
Most of the land grants on this website have the original survey which contains a drawing of the property along with the written metes and bounds description. However, most of the grants prior to 1760-ish do not have these documents but do have the metes and bounds recorded in the patent books. To see the shape of the property requires the knowledge of how to interpret the description and draw it on paper, or the use of a software tool such as Deedmapper.
We decided to create a simple tool to which lets you type in the metes and bounds on a web page, and then generates a drawing which you can save to your device. It can draw most properties, but there are restrictions and it isn’t something you’d necessarily want to publish in a book. It also has trouble with overlapping text depending on the image shape. We are open to enhancing it to make it more useful or pretty or whatever people might think is needed.
“NOT INDEXED” PAGE RENAMED TO “CARDS”
This page contains images of index cards from certain drawers at the State Archives card catalog. It has been renamed to “Cards” to more accurately reflect its purpose and to acknowledge that all cards in the “No County Given” drawer were indexed in early 2022.
IMAGE VIEWER TOOLBAR APPEARANCE
The toolbar used to view images now has a solid background with larger icons so it “blends” more with the controls above than the image below. This will make the icons easier to see, especially on a mobile device. It is normally at the top of the page, but when you are adjusting images it moves to the bottom.
Loose document images. The land grant lose document images are now 85% complete. There is one set of 52 reels currently being processed to be online in a week or two, another set of 51 reels currently being digitized by the State Archives, and 74 reels awaiting digitization. We are now expecting completion some time in November.
- Download choices. The level of detail in the downloaded file image is similar to what you would normally see when you zoom all the way in on the screen, so viewing the downloaded copy does not make the image any more readable. However, the downloaded files will have a higher resolution for the entire image (typically 300 DPI vs. 72 on the screen). The main reasons for downloading is if you want to save the image on your computer, or use it in a printed publication. If you simply want a copy of the record to save on your computer, we suggest instead of downloading the full image to a file you either do a screen capture or print the webpage to a PDF. Downloading by screen capture has always been an option. Just hide the toolbar, go to full page, adjust the image to the size you want, and use the capture process for your device (for example, Alt+Print Screen on Windows). You can then paste the image into Word or some other type of document. To print to a PDF, simply click the Print with Reference button and select PDF as the printer. Exceptions would be for very small text that would be hard to read except in the high resolution file.
- Available content for downloads. All patent book pages and land grant loose document images that are currently available on the website can be downloaded. The following original images have not yet been uploaded and some require some additional processing first: Land Grant Entry Books, Granville Grant Deeds, and Granville Grant Loose Documents.
- Download restrictions. Due to issues with always displaying entire and potentially large images, and the need to zoom in on details such as a single written word, we decided to use a “web app” called Zoomify so you only see the parts of the image you need to see. It has worked great, but it was also not possible to download the entire image at a high enough resolution to zoom in on a word if needed or for quality publishing. Since the images on the server are stored in a special format that cannot be viewed like normal images, the only way to allow high resolution downloads was to double the storage on the server which isn’t free. There is also a charge for outgoing server data traffic. Although it’s not that high for normal usage, we wanted to avoid “robots” scanning the website and downloading tons of images and us having a big bill for it.
- Image adjustments. These are handled using functions within the browser itself, and we have had some trouble with certain browsers, specifically Safari. We recommend using Firefox, Chrome, or Edge. Even with those browsers, combining multiple filters at the same time can be sluggish, especially on slower machines or portable devices. Note that although you can screen-capture an adjusted image, you can only download the original image.