Thanks to digital imaging, we’ve had the privilege of reading a “paperless” copy, exactly as it was written 150 years ago.
Four score and seven years ago Abraham Lincoln penned 272 words that stand as an iconic piece of American history. Thanks to Google and the power of high-resolution digital imaging, we also know there were 5 versions of the speech, and have seen them all.
Online. Along with several million others around the world. Without having to leave the comfort of our desk chairs.
“Google collaborated with the White House, the Lincoln Library, Cornell University, Dickinson College and the Library of Congress, all of whom donated their versions of the speech so Google could make high-resolution copies.”
We can view images of President Lincoln, and share them with others, in seconds.
Thanks to digital technology, we can search for quotes from the speech, or read the complete text, and find what we’re looking for in seconds.
We can enter into a debate with someone from across the country (or the globe) about which is the correct copy, or where Lincoln was actually standing when he made his speech. We can inspect high-resolution copies of the originals to make and share points of view.
Thanks to digital imaging, history is preserved. More importantly, it’s accessible to every American, and easily shared in moments to anyone with an internet connection. No more waiting for the next printing of a history text. No need to trek to Washington, DC or getting an invitation to the White House to see one of the original documents (although we urge you to have the experience of viewing the original copy).
No worries about whether the original will be destroyed or damaged over time, and therefore lost for future generations to enjoy and learn from.
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,
but it can never forget …”
~Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address
This is the power of paperless – not to “get rid” of the paper, but to save the document forever, so that we truly can never forget.