23 January 2013

Scanners and resolution -- what is a genealogist to do?

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As we convert photos, letters, bible pages and much more into digital formats both to share with others and to help preserve them for the future, there is some technical know how that goes into the process.

The Signal: Digital Preservation Blog for Library of Congress (LOC) did a neat post in December titled What Resolution Should I Use? Part 1

What is resolution?
What resolution should I look for when I buy a scanner?
What resolution should I use when using my scanner?

These are questions we hear frequently when speaking to people about their digital conversion projects. Unfortunately, the questions are hard to answer.  The material can get very technical and can be difficult to apply.  So I’ll try to answer the first question now and the second two questions in a follow-up blog post later on.  As always, feel free to ask questions or make comments.

Do read the full post.

And recently, What Resolution Should I Use? Part Two was published!

If you are interested to learn more about resolution and scanning consider checking out: 
Basically, if you search on scanner + best + 2012 in your internet browser no lack of other websites will come up!

And, there are two scanners that over the last couple of years gotten a lot of press in the genealogical community.  I will admit to having the first one and having never yet used it (when I can get photocopies for $.10 per page or photograph items with my camera in real-color, I just haven’t yet found an urgent need for a portable scanner). 
Again, if you search on the above-named scanner + review in your internet browser, many informative pages, videos and more will show up in the search results.

Do you know of any other great resources to help those considering the purchase of a scanner for their genealogy research?

Editor’s note: I have always been told to use a resolution of at least 300 dpi, though, keeping in mind that what I “see” is limited by my technology!  And, images to be used in “print” often require a higher quality or they become too pixilated when printed. I personally use an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax and have for years with excellent results..

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