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ASU Digital Repository

Scanning and Processing Tips


  • This document addresses digitization via flatbed scanning. Audio and Video items may be scanned at ASU Library. Submit a Support Request for assistance with audiovisual materials.
  • Please scan documents with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to create a text-searchable document.
  • Caution: very old photographic materials (e.g., glass plates, tintypes, silver gelatin photographs, journals, scrapbooks) and materials with rough edges should be digitized using photography.
  • Submit a Support Request for assistance with fragile items, very large works or audiovisual materials.

Plan to Scan

  1. Review and discard anything you don’t want to keep, and separate items that will not be scanned in advance.
  2. Organize the items for digitization by series: you may have governing or legal documents, meeting notes, photographs, topics, videos, etc.
  3. Plan a “scanning party” and schedule your volunteers.

Scanning Day

  1. Collect the items for scanning in one place with plenty of room for a “processing table”.
  2. The processing table is at least two people – one to remove staples and prepare items for scanning, and one to perform the scanning.
  3. One person on a computer will place the digital items into folders by series.
  4. The person on the computer will also describe each digital item in a spreadsheet (more information is better), including:
    • Descriptive title.
    • Digital file title (e.g., image4356.tiff).
    • Brief description.
    • Date the physical item was created.
    • Size dimensions of the physical item, e.g., height and width.
    • Who created the physical item (can be more than one person).
    • Series.
    • Subjects or keywords.
    • For videos, note where the video was recorded (e.g., Sun Devil Stadium, Gammage Auditorium).
  5. The person on the computer will also copy/back-up all the digital items to another location, including the final spreadsheet. Storing multiple copies in different locations is a preservation best-practice.
    • Quality assurance: periodically open the digital files to ensure that the scanning was successful.
  6. Complete the Share Your Work form and attach the digital items:

Digitization Resources

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.