Digitization: Scanning Preservation Files for Special Collections

Purpose: Instructions for scanning documents for preservation-quality scans and images to upload to Special Collections Digital Commons.

Scanning Preservation File

  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
    • Set EPSON Scan window to “Professional Mode”
    • Set Document type to “Reflective”
    • Set Document source as “Document table”
    • Select auto exposure type “Document”
    • Select “Best” scanning quality, if the option is available
    • Set scanning image quality to “16-bit grayscale” for black and white documents
    • Set scanning image quality to “24-bit color” for color documents or documents when paper color or when color within the document communicates information.
  4. Use the following chart to set the appropriate scan resolution.
  5. Access and preservation pdf files are both scanned at 300 dots per inch.  When a document is to be OCR’d, resolution may be increased to 400 dots per inch.  For more accurate OCR results, it is acceptable to scan at 600 dots per inch.
    Image Size pdf min. pdf OCR pdf OCR
    3.5x 5 inches 300 dpi 400 dpi 600 dpi
    5×7 inches 300 dpi 400 dpi 600 dpi
    8×10 inches 300 dpi 400 dpi 600 dpi
  6. Place the document on the scanner bed.  If document overhangs scanner bed, a thumb can be used to prop up the scanner cover to prevent any pressure from damaging the portion of document not supported on the scanner bed.
  7. Click the “Preview” button in the EPSON Scan window.  This action will quickly scan the document an allow the selection to be refined.
  8. Use the EPSON cross-hair tool to create a selection box around the image, cropping as appropriate.  Include all edges of the document.  If the document 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.
  9. When creating a pdf file for a “flip book,” ensure that all scanned documents that constitute pages in the flip book are consistent in dimension.
  10. Click on the “Scan” button.
  11. Select “Other” for the “scan to” location and browse, if necessary, to navigate to your working file on the desktop.
  12. 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—
  13. Set the Image Format by selecting the desired format (pdf) from the drop down menu.
  14. Click on the “OK” button and wait for the scanner to finish.
  15. Depending on the location of the workstation, you will want to save your scanned files to the Share drive or to a thumb drive to transport back to your workstation.

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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