Digital Reformatting

Digital Imaging

Digitizing paper may be an effective strategy for:

  • saving space
  • increasing access
  • reducing retrieval time
  • creating back-ups

Digital imaging can dramatically improve retrieval efficiency by enabling searching capabilities that are not possible in a paper environment.  It is also ideal for records that would take up an extensive amount of space in paper form and require regular and rapid retrieval.

If you, your office, or department is considering digitizing records or other material, please contact us.

Reformatting Basics for Departments and Offices

  • Enlargement:

    Commonly printers perform best with input files of between 240 and 360 pixels per inch (ppi).  To calculate the size/resolution of your image, multiply the size of the image (in inches) by the ppi.

    Example, using 300 ppi as a starting point:

    For a 3 ½" x 5" print:

    3.5  x 300 = 1050 pixels on the 3.5" side
    5 x 300 = 1500 pixels on the 5" side
    Total resolution = 1050 x 1500 pixels

    For a 5" x 7" print:

    5 x 300 = 1500 pixels on the 5" side
    7 X 300 = 2100 pixels on the 7# side
    Total resolution = 1500 x 2100 pixels

    For an 8" x 10" print:

    8 x 300 = 2400 pixels on the 5" side
    10 X 300 = 3000 pixels on the 7# side
    Total resolution = 2400 x 3000 pixels

  • Suggested resolution:

    • 800 ppi for some negatives taken prior to 1940.
    • 2800 ppi or more for more recent negatives.
  • Before you begin ensure that your hands are washed and dry, and that both the scanner and computer are turned on.

    To scan:

    1. Open Photoshop or Epson scanning software
    2. For Photoshop: go to File ? Import ? (pick scanning software of choice)
      For Epson scanning software: click on Epson scanner icon
    3. Make certain document type is set to "reflective" for photo or "document" for text
    4. Select correct resolution.
      For black and white: 8 bit grayscale
      For color: 24 bit 400 ppi
    5. Choose "preview"
    6. Crop to the page/document
    7. Choose "scan"
    8. Exit scanning software

    After each scan, review the file in Photoshop for quality.

    After scanning and reviewing:

    1. Save as a TIFF in designated TIFF project folder on the external hard drive using the file naming scheme set up for the project
    2. Go to File ? File Info
    3. Add a description (under description tab):
    4. Type in a title and basic keywords taken from the digital object (Keywords or Subject are basic "tags" describing the object)
    5. Change copyright status to "copyrighted" and add copyright information, if known.  If not known, add "contact Williams College Archives and Special Collections at [email protected]."
    6. Save TIFF to retain changes.
    7. In an Excel document add appropriate metadata for each scanned object.

Questions? Contact us.

See also: