It is Finished: a transition from paper to digital illustration files

February 5, 2021 brought the end of a seven and a half year process.

I bought a new scanner July 4, 2013. I started scanning illustrations I’d been collecting and saving since the fall of 1964. These were on 4” x 6” file cards. My goal was to scan ten cards per day when I was in the office and had time. I deleted duplicates. I added tags and topics where I look for the information. I threw away the hard copies. I finished these by February 2017.

In April 2017, I started with the “A” drawer of my seven drawers of files. These were some of the most difficult things to move from interim to interim. They were heavy, cumbersome, and hard to handle. On a very windy day while unloading at a new interim, someone dropped one of the drawers of files. When I arrived they were in disarray in a waste basket. I was able to salvage, arrange, and scan this material.

On February 5, I copied the files, “Yorkville Church of Christ 1967” and “Youth Minister Guide for Hiring.” These files were the last files in the last of the seven drawers of files.

Here’s a previous post on scanning and scanners: Scanner .


  • A little over a long time equals much: seven file cabinet drawers of clippings, articles, bulletins; six drawers of 4” x 6” illustrations. Heavy. A lifetime of information. Seven and a half years of processing.
  • Portable. This is now available to me anywhere I have access to a smartphone, iPad, or computer.
  • More accessible. The calendar does an OCS (optical character recognition) scan on each file. I’m able to search the entire collection by keywords in the documents, tags, and titles.
  • Great memories. Many of the files had bulletins, letters, notes, plans, evaluations, and other items scanning my ministry. It was a delightful trip down memory lane by reading all this material.
  • It’s a joy to have this recorded and organized. I’ll soon be 76 years old — one month from today. I don’t know how long I have to use this well-organized information. But if I leave tomorrow, the process was enjoyable and well worth the time, money, and effort.
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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

2 Responses to “It is Finished: a transition from paper to digital illustration files

  • Ron Vick
    3 years ago

    Jerrie, what software did you use to organize the files after you scanned them?

  • Ron,

    Software came with my scanner.

    I use PDFPenPro for a PDF app. It does OCR and many other services.