Efficiency gains with new scanner

Efficiency gains with new scanner
31 January 2011

In 2010 the National Library acquired a large format roller scanner. The scanner, a Colortrac Gx+ T42 series, is situated in the Maps Branch and the equipment has been a boon to Digitisation and Photography staff.

View of roller scanner

The scanner has high resolution wide format scan capabilities in a variety of formats including TIFF, JPEG and PDF, and can accommodate material up to 20mm thickness.  The Colortrac can manage hundreds of scans per week, far in excess of the volume previously captured using the map studio.

Detail of the Colortrac scanner

The efficiency gains from the scanner were apparent very quickly. Whereas in the past larger format Ferguson sales plans, parish maps and posters had to be captured using a scanback camera (Betterlight Super 10K-HS) and a suction board in the map studio, the new scanner takes, on average, about a tenth of the capture time. The scanner can also easily deal with peak periods and future needs. The new scanner has enabled Digitisation and Photography Branch staff to capture items such as very long maps, for example, river navigation charts many metres long or very large maps, in a much more efficient manner. Digitisation and Photography staff has commented on the ease of use and the fact that, as the rollers do not touch the item, there is little, if any, wear and tear on the material.  Now all maps of suitable size (106 cm wide, unlimited length) will be digitised by Digitisation and Photography staff on the roller scanner, except for maps identified by Preservation Branch as not suitable for this capture method because they are fragile, with backings or linings, or on very thin or brittle paper.

Digitisation and Photography staff member Kerry Ball scanning a map

Colourful poster being scanned