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This is the "Scan PHOTOGRAPHS" 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


Step 1: Prepare scanner

Step 1: Prepare scanner

Put on gloves.


Clean scanner surface with an antistatic cloth and air puffer.


Step 2: Prepare photographs

Step 2: Prepare photographs

Clean photographs gently with antistatic cloth and air puffer. 


Place photographs face-down on scanning bed. You can scan multiple photographs at once. Be careful not to scratch the scanning bed.

Close scanning bed lid.



Step 3: Set specifications and preview

Step 3: Set specifications 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.


In 'Professional Mode', set the Document Type to "Reflective" and the Auto Exposure Type to "Photo". For Image Type and Resoultion settings, refer to the guide boxes on the left-hand side of this wiki page. The photos in this example are 3x5s.



Select the Thumbnail box, then click the Preview button at the bottom of the settings window. The scanner should automatically recognize your photographs as separate files.


You can use the Frame icons on the left side of the window to rotate or flip each image that you select. 





Step 4: Scan and Save

Step 4: Scan and Save 

When the photos are done scanning, the File Save Settings window will appear. Select a location to save your scan. If you have a USB or external hard drive, select the "Browse" button to locate it. Create an obvious and consistent file name, and if it is the first in a series select the "Start Number" as 001.


Choose JPEG or TIFF under "File Format." For information on these formats, refer to the guide box on the left of this wiki page.



You may view your scanned file in the Windows Photo Viewer.



Step 5: Tidy up

Step 5: Tidy up

Clean scanning bed with anti-static wipes.


Put cleaning supplies and film holders away. 


Make sure scanner is powered off and closed.


Eject storage device and make sure you collect your personal belongings.




How much time will this take?

On average, 3 3x5 JPEG photos at 800 ppi = 5 minutes. TIFF files take more time to scan.

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 dpi 


     Longest side 2" or less

2000 dpi

     Longest side 3"

1335 dpi

     Longest side 4"

1000 dpi

     Longest side 5"

800 dpi

     Longest side 6"

670 dpi

     Longest side 7"

575 dpi

     Longest side 8"

500 dpi

     Longest side 9"

550 dpi

     Longest side 10” or more

400 dpi


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.


My photos aren't being recognized as separate files!

This probably means your photos are too close together. Spread them out, make sure none are touching each other or any border guides on the scanning bed.


Rotating images

If you want to rotate all of the images, select the All button on the left of the Preview window. Then use one of the Frame buttons to flip or rotate the images.

You can flip or rotate images individually by selecting a single image before using the Frame buttons.


Selecting and Cropping

Do you want to crop multiple images in the preview window? If so, simply hold the CTRL (control) button on the keyboard and select the areas you want to scan.


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