The Lafayette College Libraries support your scanning and digitization needs through self-service equipment and specialized services.

If you are scanning print materials for personal use/study, self-service digitization equipment is available, and can be used in Skillman Library. 

The Scannix BookEdge is located in Skillman Library’s copy room, and is best for scanning material from bound books. It can also be used for unbound materials, such as loose paper and documents. It is touchscreen operated, and will send the file to an email address, a smartphone, a USB, or Google Drive.

Many Skillman Library computer stations are equipped with flatbed scanners, which can be used for unbound materials such as loose paper or photographs. These scanners give you more nuanced control over the technical specifications and cropping of your scans. They save to the computer’s local drive, and you can then save them to a USB or upload them to Google Drive.

Document cameras and slide scanners are also available for limited use check-out through the Skillman Library circulation desk. 

Please be mindful of copyright when scanning published materials, and ensure your copying complies with the law. Lafayette College’s Copyright Infringement Policy can be read here. Read the US Government’s guidance on fair use and copyright here. The University of Minnesota Libraries has a very useful suite of materials to help navigate copyright questions and fair use of copyrighted materials: UMN Libraries Copyright Information Services. Please contact Digital Scholarship Services if you have any questions or concerns.

General Guidelines on Technical Specifications

When a scan is being made, the most impactful technical specification is Dots Per Inch (DPI) or Points Per Inch (PPI), which is an image density measurement that determines the image quality of your scan. Essentially, low DPI/PPI means low image quality and smaller file size, and high DPI/PPI means high image quality and larger file size. For personal use, especially of scanned text, 300 DPI/PPI is standard. If you are scanning something in need of very high quality, such as an image that you want to print in a publication, bring the DPI/PPI up to 600. 

The second technical specification to pay attention to is the file format. The most common file formats will be PDF, JPG, and TIFF. If you are scanning text, PDF is recommended. If you are scanning images for casual personal use, JPG is recommended. If you are creating high quality images that will be used in publications or art projects, TIFF is recommended.

Please contact Digital Scholarship Services  with questions, or for assistance and further guidance.

Machine Readable Text for Accessibility and Digital Scholarship

Please be aware that text documents scanned from print are not inherently machine readable. A scan will not be compatible with assistive technology or word processing software without additional work. If you intend to share this scan, especially in a course setting, you must make the scan accessible by making it machine readable before doing so.

In order to transform a scanned document into a machine readable digital document, the scanned document must undergo an optical character recognition (OCR) process. A document must be machine readable in order to interact with assistive technology like screen readers. It will also make your scan full text searchable, and make it possible to use your scan as text data in digital scholarship,

The libraries provide access to ABBYY FineReader on Skillman Library PC workstations, and ITS supports remote access to ABBYY FineReader through the General Lab in Amazon AppStream. Other software applications can also be used to OCR your documents. For assistance with OCR, digital accessibility, and/or digital scholarship using machine readable text, please contact Digital Scholarship Services.

Scans for Course Distribution

If you are looking to digitize a substantial portion of a work, or to distribute digitized materials to students as part of your course readings, please consult with a reference librarian.

Technical Assistance

For immediate technical assistance with self-service equipment, please ask at the Skillman Library Circulation Desk.

Digital Document Delivery through Interlibrary Loan

If you require digital document delivery of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials, contact ILL for assistance.

Digitizing Special Collections & College Archives Materials

Publication, Digital Collections and Digital Archives, Digital Scholarship, Oversized Materials, General Help

If you are preparing materials for print publication, building a digital collection or archive, conducting digital scholarship, working with oversized materials, would like advice on how to complete a digitization project, or have any other questions or things related to digitization that you would like to discuss, please contact Digital Scholarship Services.

Non-Print Materials

If you are digitizing materials from media formats other than print and would like guidance undertaking this work, please contact Digital Scholarship Services for a consultation.