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This is the "Scan PAPERS" page of the "Memory Lab" guide.
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Memory Lab   Tags: digital preservation, personal archiving  

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Last Updated: Sep 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Scan PAPERS Print Page

Step 1: Prepare scanner

Step 1: Prepare scanner

Put on gloves.


Clean scanner surface with an antistatic cloth and air puffer.


Step 2: Prepare documents

Step 2: Prepare documents 

Clean papers gently with anti static cloth and air puffer. 


Place document face-down on scanning bed using a guide if necessary. Be careful not to scratch the scanning bed.


When scanning newspaper, place black card stock behind page to prevent bleed-through. 


Close scanning bed lid.



Step 3: Set specs and preview

Step 3: Set specs and preview

Make sure that the scanner is powered on and is connected to the computer by USB.


Connect your external hard drive or USB to the computer.

Open the Epson Scan icon            located on the desktop.


Set the Document Type to "Reflective" and the Auto Exposure Type to "Document". For Image Type and Resoultion settings, refer to the guide boxes on this page. In this example we are scanning a newspaper article.



Click the Preview button at the bottom of the window.



Use the Marquee tool to select the area you want to scan. You can select mutliple areas by pressing the Ctrl key simultaneously.


For more options, see the Help button at the bottom of the preview window.


Step 4: Scan

Step 4: Scan

When you are finished making adjustments, click the Scan button.



Under Location select the "Other" radio button and use "Browse" to find your external hard drive.


Under Type, select the kind of file format you'd like to save. For papers, you may want to save as a PDF.


Beside Prefix, create an obvious file name for your scan. Check to make sure the Start Number is correct (if first scan, start number is 001).


Select "OK" to begin scanning. When scanning is complete, you can add another page to the scan or save it as is.



Check your storage device to make sure scans saved. Open a few random scans to check quality.



Step 5: Tidy up

Step 5: Tidy up

Clean scanning bed with anti-static wipes and close lid.


Put away any cleaning supplies used.


Eject your storage device and make sure you have all personal belongings.




How much time will this take?

On average, 1 document in 16-bit grayscale takes 1 minute to scan as PDF.

After selecting OK to scan, refer to the estimated time on the status bar and make sure you do not exceed your Memory Lab session.


What if I don't have an external hard drive or USB?

Go to the Saving Options tab at the top of this page for other ways to save.


What equipment will I use today?

Epson 11000XL Scanner


What software will I use today?


What resolution should I use?


Scan at…

Documents & Newspapers

300 ppi 


     Longest side 2" or less

2000 ppi

     Longest side 3"

1335 ppi

     Longest side 4"

1000 ppi

     Longest side 5"

800 ppi

     Longest side 6"

670 ppi

     Longest side 7"

575 ppi

     Longest side 8"

500 ppi

     Longest side 9"

550 ppi

     Longest side 10” or more

400 ppi


What color capture should I use?

Black and white: un-annotated business documents and papers


16-bit grayscale: black and white negatives and un-yellowed black and white prints/ newspaper UNLESS they have an essential feature that will not be captured (highlighting, colored ink, illustrations, yellowing).


24-bit color: everything else


Should I save files as TIFF or JPEG?






About 4.5 x LARGER than JPEG


High quality but compressed

Highest quality


Most websites and software

Not supported by most websites


Not so great




More information

Check out this Wikipedia Commons article on scanning for more information.


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