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About

The Family Friend, offers viewers a rare glimpse into British social history during the Victorian era. The project digitized a representative sampling of articles and items found in a single issues of The Family Friend, Volume XVIII, published in 1887.  The Family Friend was published on a monthly basis by S. W. Partridge and Company of London. In circulation from 1849-1921, The Family Friend was marketed as an instructional magazine for the entire family and at its height had a readership of approximately 50,000. The periodical reflects the social attitudes of the period.  The content spans a range of topics from household tips and parenting advice to spiritual reflections and dramatic fiction. The format is varied as well, presenting prose, song, poetry and clothing patterns.


The material held within the pages of The Family Friend Volume XVIII may be of use to researchers in fields ranging from the fashion industry to gender studies, theatre, social history and beyond. Unfortunately the physical copy of the magazine has not been treated according to preservation standards, as such it is in poor condition and it would be impossible to make it accessible to researchers and the general public without risking its destruction. The digitization of this collection opens this previously inaccessible material to users and ensures that the content will be preserved for future use.Technical DetailsDue to the nature and aims of this collection, the images are presented at a higher resolution and size than is generally recommended. The Family Friend is composed of several pages of quite small and sometimes blurred text. In the interest of preserving the readability of the document in its natural form and appearance, the images are presented at a resolution of 400dpi, and measure 1200 pixels along the long edge. This was deemed to be the most reasonable and readable presentation option.


Images were initially scanned on a Canon MP250 at 400dpi in accordance with Library of Congress standards for printed text. The content was scanned at a bit depth of 24, in order to capture the look and feel of the paper. Photoshop was employed for basic image editing and enhancements. Cropping and deskewing of the images was applied when necessary. However, in the interest of preserving an accurate representation of the original document very little image enhancement was applied. In general stains were left, unless they were deemed detrimental to the readability of the document. The appearance of tears was improved when they angled into the text.  Tears that created inconsistent page edges were not improved.

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