All reproductions of geospatial materials are delivered in digital format. Please see our Policies and Fees page for information about copyright and reproducing items from our collection, as well as citation guidelines and fees.

Requesting Scans

The FrameFinder tool allows you to search for and download more than 400,000 individual photographs online for free.  If a photograph is not already scanned, you can request that it be scanned from inside the tool.  Because the FrameFinder tool does not represent our complete holdings, you may also use our AP Flights Catalog and the indexes for each flight to identify frames and request scans.  Be sure to also check our image directory for available images before requesting a scan.  See Finding Aerial Photographs to learn how to use the tool and/or our flight indexes to submit an aerial photograph scanning request.


Every effort will be made to complete work as promptly as possible. Depending on the number of requests ahead of yours, we try to turn work out within 4-7 business days.   

Our scans are typically produced as 600 dpi TIFF files.  If higher resolution is desired please contact our staff for further information,

The Scanning Process

For black and white prints and film, materials are scanned using the 16-bit grayscale setting with the Gray Gamma 2.2 color space. 9x18in prints and film are scanned in two halves and then stitched together in Photoshop. Color prints and film that are scanned at 600ppi and 1200ppi use the 48-bit setting and the Adobe RGB 1998 color space. Film negatives are converted to a positive output. 

Scanning Software 

The Digitization Lab uses LaserSoft Imaging's SilverFast 8Ai Studio Software and follows the software's iT8 calibration procedures to profile prints and transparencies. The scanner is an Epson Expression 12000 XL. Advertised at having a top optical resolution of 2400ppi, 16-bit per channel, and 3.8 DMax, our Lab regularly scans at 600, 1200, and 2400ppi. 


We do a minimum of post-processing on images.  The scanner software will perform minimal sharpening at the time of scanning.  Post-processing includes cropping and de-skewing.  The Digitization Lab’s main concern is to produce a likeness of the original in its current state.  

Scanning Issues

Highly trained and skilled technicians at the UC Santa Barbara Library's Digital Library Development Digitization Lab meticulously inspect and scan each frame to give our customers a quality product. 

Due to the fact that many pieces of the UCSB Library's collection are 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 at the UCSB Library, we can do our best to preserve these pieces from further wear and tear. The Digitization Lab 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.