Highly trained and skilled technicians at the UC Santa Barbara Library's Digital Production Services meticulously inspect and scan each frame, map, and drawing to give our customers a quality product. Here are some questions that are frequently asked by our customers;
- What type of equipment is used?
Our scanning department uses two different types of scanners based on the material that is being scanned. For film and prints, they use the Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner with anti-Newtonian (AN) glass in the bed. Advertised at having a top optical resolution of 2400ppi, 16-bit per channel, and 3.8 DMax, our scanning department regularly scans at 600, 1200, and 2400ppi.
Maps and drawings are scanned with a Vidar Latitude 600e Plus 54" wide-format scanner. The scanner uses four internal cameras to create image files and has a top optical resolution of 508ppi.
- What type of software is used?
For film and prints, our scanning department uses LaserSoft Imaging's SilverFast 8Ai Studio Software and follow the software's iT8 calibration procedures to profile prints and transparencies. When scanning maps and drawings, they use Contex's Nextimage software.
- What types of materials are scanned?
While only UC-owned materials can be scanned, our scanning department scans anything that is film, print, map, or drawing related!
- What happens during the scanning process?
For black and white prints and film, both materials are scanned using the 16-bit grascale setting with the Gray Gamma 2.2 color space in Photoshop. 9x18in prints and film are scanned in two halves and then stitched together in Photoshop.
Color prints and film scanned at 600ppi and 1200ppi use the 48-bit setting and the Adobe RGB 1998 color space. Color prints and film scanned at 2400ppi use the 24-bit setting instead of the 48-bit setting to adhere to the SilverFast 8 software's 2GB file size limit. 9x18in color prints and film are scanned in two halves and stitched together in Photoshop.
Film negatives are sometimes converted to a positive output through the software program or inverted to a positive in Photoshop.
Maps and drawings are scanned at 400ppi in 24-bit color. The scanner is calibrated and tags the files with Contex's version of the sRGB color space.
- Is there any post-processing involved?
Yes, there is in order to make the image look "right" for the user! After scanning, the scan operator generally corrects for overall contrast, color (when RGB), tonal range, and sharpness. Customers may ask for image to not have any post-processing done. Just ask us!
- What are the issues that arise with the materials and scanners?
Due to the fact that many pieces of MIL's collection is acquired from different sources, some materials arrive with a variety of issues and problems. This includes film degradation, folds and tears, brittleness, poor processing or exposure, vinegar syndrome, layer dye loss and fading, staple holes, physical condition, image sharpness - just to name a few! While we cannot control how these materials arrive to MIL, we can do our best in preserving these pieces from further wear and tear.
DPS is also diligent about taking care of our materials and their scanners, but issues do arise with the equipment. These issues may include dirt and scratches on the glass scanner aperture, color lines due to pre-scan white balance against the aperture and backing plate, the scanner's inability to handle heavy or thick materials, and color fringing of high contrast elements.
- What type of equipment is used?
Want to know more about scanning at the UCSB Library? Just ask!