Scanning is the initial step for moving from a physical object to computer accessible data.
When you start planning a digitization project, it is useful to consult the resources that have been published by Library of Congress and others federal agencies. These will help you plan in ways that give your digital files the best chance to be useful in a wide range of contexts.
We have the VueScan software installed on the Dell Desktop for creating and processing the scans.
To use the scanner, first select that VueScan software from the Desktop.
You may get a warning that there is no detected scanner. If that happens, turn the scanner off and on again.
Once you have VueScan and the scanner talking to one another, you can configure the scans according to the type of document and your needs for them.
If you are scanning for preservation and for computational analysis, you should use the TIFF format. These are large files and provide the most options for future use cases.
To start configuring your scans, go to the Input tab and select the “Professional” options so that you have the most control of the scanning settings.
If you are working with images, set the Scan Resolution to 600 dpi. (If you are scanning newspapers, 300 dpi is fine.)
Finally, set the default folder for saving files and set the prefix for the file name.
Next, go to the Color tab. Most of the defaults are fine, but change the Output color space to Adobe RGB.
Finally, set your output options. Here again you can set the default file name. You can also choose additional output types, such as the text (extracted via OCR) or a JPEG file, which is compressed and may be better for web distribution.
You can also add embedded metadata in the “Description”, “Copyright”, “Date” and “Caption” fields.
You can preview your scans to confirm that you are correctly capturing your document.
Once you are ready, select “Scan” to generate the files. This will launch the Explorer window where you can adjust the file name and save the files.
Once you have finished scanning, upload your folder to your Box account – the files on the Dell machine will be deleted periodically.