The Tale Of A Legacy Lost: A Scanning Story

The Tale Of A Legacy Lost: A Scanning Story

Is it important to digitise the past to enjoy in the future?

I remember when my Grandfather passed away, many years ago now, the comments made by his three sons, one daughter and many extended family were that this was the start of a legacy lost.

Nothing could have highlighted this more when, years later, my Grandmother also passed away and there was a clean-up of belongings with many trips to the skip to dispose of unwanted, unnecessary or ‘low value’ items.

A legacy saved…

One trip saw six or so Bibles in different sizes, shapes, versions and condition about to be tossed but stopped just in time. Known for being fairly sentimental, they made their way to me where I was fortunate to discover inscriptions from my Grandfathers parents where they had handwritten thoughts, words of encouragement and endearing messages to him at milestones in his life.

Some of these milestone moments include times forgotten by those around him and range from -just prior to getting married to my Grandmother; prior to his period on the Gold Dredge in Eldorado, Country Victoria, because of hard economic times and just prior to his departure to Papua New Guinea where he fought for our country.

Those inscriptions taught me more about my Grandfather than any stories others have told me.

A legacy lost…

With mixed emotions, I recently heard a similar story from a business we have done past work for. The files we saw and scanned (digitised) where AMAZING and I have never seen anything like them before. These files were old and many predated WWII and included handwritten letters, typed letters and (for those who remember) telegram slips, just to mention a few.

These files were presented back to the customer after much care with all originals returned for quality assurance assessment.

Once the quality was confirmed by the customer, the original files were destroyed by the business.

We also learned of the ingestion of the remaining hard copy files by the company directly – which is a great strategy should it align with your business goals.

However, in this case the files were:

·        Scanned and destroyed without any QA.

·        Scanned by volunteers and juniors with no experience in business.

·        Scanned in-house to minimise the expense.

The result was a fast turnaround time, using juniors keeping the costs down, and meeting the above listed expectations.

The sad part of the story was when, some weeks later, some critical information was required and the file was opened only to reveal nothing, an empty file! No hard copies (already destroyed), no electronic copies and a heap of finger pointing.


This was a massive loss of legacy and now information relating to important people will never be readable.


The reason I thought I would tell this story is simply to highlight the importance of due diligence with electronic document management systems. Even people close to my grandfather nearly, and unbeknownst to them, destroyed important information. They didn’t mean to – but they nearly did.

Whatever your role, engage experts to help you understand the legacy of loss and its potential impact.

-David Harrison



Recognised as a Business Solutions Expert, Sales Management Consultant and CRM Specialist. A ‘future’ enthusiast with a love for innovation, I am always looking for easier, better and more efficient ways to solve problems.

As founder and CEO of The Essential Group, I have helped thousands of business navigate the ever changing landscape of business and I enjoy mentoring tomorrow’s brightest entrepreneurs.

No Comments

Post a Comment