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ISI Helps Historical Society to Join the Marines

Imaging Specialists is working with the Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society on its award-winning series, Alleghany Memories. The series won a Paul Green Multimedia Award for the premier episode that featured Pauline Jolly and Mildred Torney- both former county librarians.

The current episode features an interview with Bobby Irwin, Vietnam-era Marine combat photographer and videographer, and was produced in conjunction with the Walter Frank Osborne, Jr. Deatachment 1298 Marine Corps League from Sparta, North Carolina.

ISI produced titles and a short slide show of Mr. Irwin’s images that airs at the end of the episode. The episode is available for viewing, online, at, Alleghany Community Television’s new streaming site.

One of Mr. Irwin’s incredible photos from his time in Vietnam. ©2012 Bobby Irwin

The program is the first of four produced with the Marine Corps League and is hosted by current Commandant, John Irwin. Subsequent episodes will feature interviews of J.T. Pardue, Bill Sebastian and Charles Pugh- all members of the local detachment.

ISI is proud to be able to have a part in this interesting and historic series.

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Alleghany Cemeteries Through 1986 Back in Print With a New Look

The newest edition of Alleghany County Cemeteries through 1986, available now at the Sparta Store

Imaging Specialists has reworked the Alleghany Cemeteries book to make it easier to use and more sturdy in the latest edition, available now. As the supply of the original books dwindled, the Alleghany Historical – Genealogical Society board knew changes had to be made.

The 8.5″ x 11″ books were originally perfect-bound (or paperback style binding) on the short dimension making them cumbersome to use as they were over 22″ wide when fully opened. This configuration also stressed the binding so much that most of the books’ spines would eventually break apart, releasing pages or groups of pages.

Even with these structural problems, the book has been in demand since it was introduced in 1986. The Historical Society at that time did such a good job of documenting existing cemeteries that their effort has become one of the most useful and respected resources ever produced by AHGS. The Society gets regular requests for an updated version or a second volume- a task that would probably exceed the original project as names and information for the past 27 years would have to be researched and added.

The original edition, edited by Lou Reed Landreth with “Computerization” by Lynn Lambert, and help from Elvira Crouse, Pearl Reeves and Marvie Shelor- and probably every able bodied volunteer they could muster- was printed by New River Graphics in 1988.

The new edition will be printed, “on-demand” as orders come in. In this way the society won’t have to initiate a traditional press run, or raise  thousands of dollars in up-front production costs, or incur subsequent years of storage costs.

On-demand pricing is higher per unit, but it makes sense for a non-profit organization so that operating funds aren’t tied up in a long term inventory.

Spiral binding will allow field researchers to more easily keep their place whether they are at a single page or looking at a double page spread, without stress to the binding. Thicker pages should also add to the book’s longevity.

Pages from the first volume were individually scanned so the data is exactly as it appeared in the original.

Books are now available at the Sparta Store on Main Street in Sparta, North Carolina or here, online for $27 plus tax and shipping.

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Alleghany Television Goes Worldwide!

Alleghany Community Television, or ACTV, is now streaming content at ACTV.ME.

That’s right, those great, local shows you’ve been trying to catch will now be available for download to your own device at your convenience. ACTV has teamed with PegCentral and Imaging Specialists to present single episodes of participating programs on their site.

The new On Demand page will be available at –  a new web address that should be easier to remember (and spell!) than the main site address,

ACTV will soon begin uploading broadcast data to Skybest TV so that, as they standardize the schedule, viewers can plan for upcoming broadcasts. Metadata for individual episodes will be added including content, producers, show credits, run times, production dates, etc. and will be displayed online or on TV broadcast schedules.

Station Manager Charlie Scott – “The streaming ability we’ve gained with our latest equipment upgrade will allow our station to be accessed by anyone who isn’t able to see us on our affiliate stations. The systems that presently air ACTV content include Alleghany Cablevision, Skybest TV, Surry TV and WilkesTelecommunications. Those systems deliver ACTV to roughly 7000 households in the mountain region and cover a viewing area ranging from around Lewisville, North Carolina, almost to Johnson City, Tennessee.”

The Internet, however, reaches viewers outside the Triad to Tri-City area. Now, of course, ACTV content will be available to the entire planet. It’s hard to say what browsers in Britain will think about a Sparta Town Council Meeting, or how the Alleghany County Extension Office Cooking Show will affect a surfer in South Africa, but you can be sure these and other shows will have an audience.

Imaging Specialists is pleased to be working with Alleghany Community Television in their efforts to inform and entertain the public- from Piney Creek to Prague, from Turkey to Turkey Knob!

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UPDATE: Alleghany Library’s ReadFest POSTPONED

UPDATE: Due to the weather, the event has been postponed. We’ll let you know when it is rescheduled.

Monday afternoon, on Oct. 29, we’ll be a part of ReadFest at Alleghany County Public Library. The event will start at 1:00 and last till 4:00. Come out and join us and other local authors. (Suzanne Irwin will be there, as well.)

We’ll have copies of our history books and Paths and Passages with us, if you haven’t seen them yet. We’ll also have information on Star Route Books and publishing, if that’s something you’re considering.

We look forward to seeing you at the Library on Monday!