New Archival Scanner Available

by on June 16th, 2015
New Archival Scanner Available Cover Image

Sometimes a simple question gets a not-so-simple answer.  The question was “Does the Library have a slide projector?  I found some old slides and I want to see what they are.”  The quick answer was No, the Library no longer has a slide projector.  But we do have a powerful new archival scanner that is equipped to view and scan slides.  It is available to patrons whenever the Library is open, first-come, first-served.

The Epson Expression is a large-format flatbed scanner funded by a generous gift from the Iowa City Noon Host Lions Club.  It can be used to scan photographs or documents up to 12 x 17 inches, and with a simple attachment can be converted to view or scan negatives and slides.  Some basic instructions are available at the Reference Desk, where the slide tray also is stored.

Slide Tray & slide orientationThe scanner software allows you to preview the slides first.  You can then choose to scan some or all of the images.  If you wish to save the scanned images, please bring a flash drive, or you can email the scans to yourself using a web-based email program such as gmail.  Please note:  scanning slides and negatives requires a higher resolution setting than you would use for a photograph, and so takes longer to scan and uses more space on your storage device.

If you want to go beyond simply viewing and begin to preserve and organize your old photos, you will find a book on our new nonfiction shelves most helpful.  How to Archive Family Photos:  A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally, by Denise May Levenick assumes you are a beginner and starts at the first step, instructing you on what equipment you will need and how to set up a filing system for your digital images.  It also contains advice on what scanning settings to use for different media, tips such as scanning the reverse side of a photo to save what was written about it,  and has workflows for various projects.  It’s an excellent resource if you have been intending to take on that shoebox full of old family pictures.  Or slides.

2 Responses to “New Archival Scanner Available”

  1. Gary Olson says:

    This is awesome!

    I was wondering if I could get a few more details about the scanner before I bring in some 35mm film negatives for scanning.

    1. What type of scanner is it?
    2. What is the resolution of the scanner? (including color bit depth and Dmax rating, please)
    3. What software is used in conjunction with the scanner? (There are specific software programs for scanning that may also remove scratches, dust, etc. Examples include SilverFast, ICE, ArcSoft, etc.)
    4. Should one make a reservation to use the scanner? If so, what are the time limits (E.g. 2, 4, 5 hours max a day), hours of availability, etc.
    5. How many holders for the negatives are available for use? (Normally this is 2, one holder for scanning and one for prep.)
    6. Is this a flat bed scanner or a “pass-through” scanner (where the film passes through the scanner)?

    Thanks for your information and help.


  2. Heidi Lauritzen says:

    Here are the answers to your questions:
    1. Epson Expression 11000XL
    2. Scanning Resolution=2400 dpi (main scan)
    4800 dpi with Micro Step (sub scan)
    Color bit depth=48 bits per pixel
    Dmax rating=3.8
    3. Software is the default scanning software
    provided with the scanner: “Epson Scan”.
    The workstation has two photo editing
    products installed: GIMP2 &
    4. The scanner is available on a first-come,
    first-served basis. Currently, we do not
    have a time limit. You may use the
    scanner anytime we are open.
    5. Two holders for negatives.
    6. It is a flatbed scanner.

    Thank you for your interest. Please let us know if you have other questions.

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