I have recently had the great good fortune of seeing my grandfather’s Soldier’s Service and Pay Book for his service in the British Army. It was loaned to me by my uncle, his only son. I will have a short time to examine it and even to ask my uncle some questions about the notations in it. It’s pocket sized, with lots of pages, including scraps glued in and several paper-clipped to the back page.
My first step was to scan every page – luckily it opens flat so I can do that without damaging it. For the pages with glued-in pieces, I took scans with the piece in place as well as with it moved aside to reveal what was written underneath. I removed the metal paperclip to reduce future damage and scanned the pieces it held.
I expect my high-res scans will be useful for reference and preservation of the essence of the object, but I will take some time now to examine the real thing before I must return it. I will need to create a citation for it to add to my genealogy records, and I will glean whatever I can from the cryptic entries to support or correct what I know so far about my grandpa’s story.