Mudcat Café message #4095428 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169078   Message #4095428
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
01-Mar-21 - 01:02 AM
Thread Name: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
Subject: RE: De-clutter & Fitness in a Pandemic: 2021
Charmion, Epson makes the flatbed scanners that are used in many special collections - they were present in both the university library and the art museum where I was volunteering to scan. They are very high-end, but if you're working on historic and/or archival scans, the Epson Expression 12000XL PH (photo) flatbed scanner is the top of the line. The software that comes with it is used at the museum where I was scanning; the university library used this scanner with the very difficult to learn but eminently superior SilverFast software. The work goes slow - having a second lighter project to do on the side while you wait for scans is a good idea. Or streaming NetFlix (a popular distraction for scanners at the university library). Have an extra hard drive to store this on and back that up periodically. Scan them as large as you can (600dpi is fairly small these days - 1200dpi is much better) and save them as TIF files. No JPGs, they're lossy.

Considerably less expensive but still eye-watering, the Epson Perfection V850 looks like the next best of the various flatbed scanners (many in between are made for print positives and graphic art uses). Again, you can use SilverFast or the software that comes with it.

I have three scanning projects to do with slides and with documents and have different scanners for them - and will have an Access database for each project. Sort your photos first (and don't discard the faded ones, set them aside - there are remarkable things that can happen with restoration these days). Give the folders a name and number and as you work resolve to use a pencil and clearly print the name and number of the item for the folder and database on a clear FRONT edge of each photo and document. Your printing needs to be in the scan - trust me - if you don't keep track of this it will drive you crazy. And give your database enough fields so you can add topics later if needed. This way if you come across things that should have gone in an earlier folder and group of photos, it will show up in the database where to find it (or show you where to put it).

If you write a set of rules for yourself to follow that will also help anyone else who later is viewing or using these scans. Document your naming and numbering system, for example.

I just gave a longer version of this advice to a friend who is taking on the scanning of historic family documents going back to the late 1800s and that deal with a large court case that wound through most of the 1970s and into the 1980s (against Great Northern RR - lots of maps and documents to go with it.) She's going to need a photographer with a good full-sensor digital camera to photograph some of the maps too large for the legal-size scanner she's using.

I'll take my library/archival hat off now.