|André van Es
| Some jobs are performed almost unnoticed, but the result of the work is enjoyed by many without ever even a thought about the hard worker that made it all possible. Roelof Kiers is digitizing old documents at ASTRON. This is not just simply scanning old reports. The real job is about making the collection complete. For this reason he is mailing retired scientists, asking around old colleagues, diving into the archives, and searching in long forgotten piles of paper in the office of scientist that will never convert to the digital era.
This picture shows a sample: A poster showing the frontpages of all 50 annual reports from the early days of the "Stichting Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg" (SRZM) in 1958 until "ASTRON" in 2009. Doesn't that just take you back!
You might reward him with a smile and tell him this is a job well done. But he would even be happier if someone turns up with the annual report of 1960. He has looked everywhere, in every corner, and turned every stone, but no result.
In any case, we can now open our iPad and simply read the annual report of 1970 (the year Roelof started at ASTRON) as if it has always been a pdf.