Digitization: Scanning Photographs

Purpose: Instructions for scanning black and white or color photographs for preservation-quality scans and images to upload to Special Collections Digital Commons.

Scanning Preservation File

Image Size bmp jpg pdf
3.5x 5 inches 800 dpi 300 dpi 400 dpi
5×7 inches 600 dpi 300 dpi 400 dpi
8×10 inches 400 dpi 300 dpi 400 dpi
  1. Turn on flatbed EPSON scanner.
  2. Double-click the EPSON scan shortcut icon on the desktop.
  3. Select the regular scanner, EPSON GT-2500
  4. Prepare scanner settings as follows to capture preservation-quality scans:
    • Set EPSON Scan window to “Professional Mode”
    • Set Document type to “Reflective”
    • Set Document source as “Document table”
    • Select auto exposure type “Photo”
    • Select “Best” scanning quality, if the option is available
    • Set scanning image quality to “24-bit color”
  5. Use the following chart to set the appropriate scan resolution (use the image size closest the the size of the image in-hand). NOTE:  Preservation copies are always bmp.  Access files are typically jpg.
  6. Click the “Preview” button in the EPSON Scan window.  This action will quickly scan the document an allow the selection to be refined.
  7. Use the EPSON cross-hair tool to create a selection box around the image, cropping as appropriate.  Include all edges of the image.  If the photograph is mounted in a mat or photo album that includes information, printing, or handwriting, include it in the scan to maintain context.  Prior to scanning, it may be helpful to review the cropping examples on page 23 of the Maine Historical Society’s Contributing Partner’s Manual to the Maine Memory Network for guidance on this topic.
  8. Click on the “Scan” button.
  9. Select “Other” for the “scan to” location and browse, if necessary, to navigate to your working file on the desktop.
  10. Use the collection number, box number, folder number and image number to create the name the file.  Example:  MS_0081 (collection number); b001 (box number); f009 (folder number); 00 (image number).  Adjust the default start number so it becomes the final three digits of the image number.  The resulting file number will appear:  MS_0081_b001_f009_00—
  11. Set the Image Format by selecting the desired format (bmp) from the drop down menu.
  12. Click on the “OK” button and wait for the scanner to finish.

Scanning Access File

  1. Leave the item in the same position on the scanner bed, change scanner resolution to 300 dpi.
  2. Confirm the ‘scan to” location.
  3. Set Image Format by selecting the desired format (jpg) from the drop down menu.
  4. Click on the “OK” button and wait for the scanner to finish.

Saving Files to Special Collections Server

  1. Identify the location of your working file. Navigate from your desktop to the Special Collections X-drive (speccoll(\\library11).  You will need to be granted special permissions to access the X-drive.  Work with your supervisor to receive approval from Special Collections to access the drive.
  2. Special Collections will designate the folder to which you will load your files.  Follow the path: Computer > speccoll > Digital Collection files.

Contact: um.library.technical.services@maine.edu

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