In the Local History and Genealogy Division of the Rochester Public Library is a new scanning system that you may be interested in using. I put the system to the test about a week ago. This system is from Scannx.
Included in this system, on the left of the picture, is a flat bed scanner by Scannx. It is bigger than most home scanners. It has a maximum scan size of 17 x 12 inches. That scanner also has a book edge that you can wrap a book around the edge so you don’t have to try to flatten a book. That saves the spine of a book from being damaged. I took a small book with me and took no time to scan it. I also took a couple of magazines that are 13 by 10 inches that I can’t get on my home scanner.
To the right of the flatbed scanner is the keyboard and touchscreen. To the right of that is a scanner that uses a rotating overhead scanner. That is great for scanning scrapbooks or any irregular shaped items. That also has a maximum scan size of 17 x 12 inches. I scanned a map on cardboard backing. You could scan a photo that you don’t want to take out of frame as it would cause damage.
The scanner on the right is a Kodak Alaris model PS50 . It is for scanning photos. You can put in a stack of about 50 photos at a time and then add more if you want. As the photos are sent through a roller system, I would suggest not scanning any really old or fragile photos. I had some photos that had some glue residue on the backs from those so called “magnetic” photo albums and I had to try those photos a second time to get them all scanned. You put the photos in that scanner upside down. Also it is easier if you scan photos that are all the same size at the same time. Then put in another size photo.
The first step is to touch the screen and pick which scanning device you want to use. Then you have many options of where to save your scan. You can print it on either a B&W printer or color printer. You can send scans to a Smartphone or tablet with wi-fi. You can also save to a USB flash drive or email it to any email account. Note that if you email a bunch of scans you may find that it fills up your email account. That is because some of the files are rather larger. The last two options to save your scans are to send them to a Google Drive or Dropbox account. You will have to remember your account name and password to save to either of those two srvices.
You have to pick a resolution, The screen just says low, high and photo sizes. I wouldn’t recommend the low resolution for anything. High resolution appears to be 300dpi (dots per inch) which is good for most general purposes. Then use the photo size (600dpi) for photos; especially if you think you might want to retouch them later.
After you scan something, you can rotate images and/or crop them. I didn’t use either of these. I did find that scanned text was almost always automatically rotated for me.
Then there many file formats that you can save your scans. PDF format is good for saving pages with both text and pictures. You can even have this system make the text searchable. This Scannx system will also take a page of text and do optical character resolution and turn it into a Word document. Then there are three picture formats to pick from; JPEG, TIFF and PNG. A lot of people will tell you not to use JPEg as it is a compressed format. Every time you edit and save a JPEG file it compresses it again. Eventually the resolution of the image gets pretty bad. TIFF And PNG are not compressed but end up way larger. I saved my photos as TIFF files and when I got home I found out that they were in one file with many pages. Out of three programs that I have to edit photos, none can split those photos into separate files. Only Adobe Acrobat is able to split the TIFF file into separate photos and that program isn’t a photo editor.
I found that there is a maximum amount of scans that you can do in a session. It will only save up to 4gb of files. It was easy to get around that. All I had to do was to use a different USB drive. As no one else wanted to use the system, I didn’t have to feel guilty about taking so much time on the system.
I left the best for last. The use of this Scannx system is absolutely free. What do you have that you want to scan? This system has many options and fairly easy to use. If you run into any problems, the staff is always willing to help you out.