What to do when you inherit the family library of photos, video, and documents? (Part 5)

The types and sizes of different photographs are numerous and chances are your photos aren’t the same.  The three main components needed to scan your photos are a scanner, scanning software and a storage device.

Scanners come in all different sizes, types, and capabilities.  Some come with the ability to scan slides or film.  For scanning prints, the best type of scanner will be the flatbed type.  The scanning software is used to encode the image from the scanner.  Scanning software packages vary in their functionality with some only having the ability to scan an image, while others offer functions including editing, cropping, and color correction.

Where the digitalized photos or files are store involves selecting a storage component.   They include a computer hard drive, USB flash drive, CD/DVD or the “Cloud”.  All types of storage have advantages and disadvantages, but the main consideration when selecting a storage component is the size and the ease of backing up the contents.

A good rule of thumb when scanning your photos is to scan them at a minimum of 600 dpi (dot per square inch) and to also scan any black and white photos in color.  The 600 dpi is a good balance of quality verse file size and scanning black and white photographs in color usually enhances details over the black and white digital format.

Remember to also scan the back of the picture if it has any identification marks or writing!  You never know when this information will be useful in your research.

Check out GenealogyChris’s blog next week for tips on scanning your documents.