Personal Digital Scanning Tips From The National Archives; Concise And Helpful Guide To Answer Your Questions About Scanning Your Personal Photos

Hi Everyone!

National Archives LogoSometimes knowing what to do with our genealogically valuable photographs is problematic.  We know we need to digitize them, but it can be a daunting task.  Sometimes you just throw a picture on the scanner and know enough to hit the “scan” button or the scan command.  Sure it may give you a digitized image but is it the right way to go using default settings?

I did come across a very nice, informative and concise guide that may help you in your own personal digitization project of scanning your own genealogically valuable photos.  It is about 2 pages in length and sheds light on the mysteries that surrounds the scanning process.  It even touches bases on how to digitize slides.

The guide was put together from our own United States National Archives.

If you are about to embark on digitizing your genealogical photos then you will definitely want to take a look at this guide.  If you want to digitize correctly the first time around then this guide is definitely for you.  Nothing worse than digitizing a 100 pictures only to realize you could have done it better from the start!

If you have already digitized your own photos, take a look at the guide to see if you can improve even more if you will be doing more scanning in the future.

Take a look at the following link that will get you to a PDF guide on digitizing your photos:

National Archives Digitization Scanning Guide

The more we know about correct scanning, file creation and archiving of this data, the better will be able to use it and share it with our other cousins!

In fact, here is another link to the National Archives that is specific to their “Preservation” page from their website.  There are many tips among a variety of media that you may have in your own collection for which you can preserve the media.  Visit the National Archives “Preservation” page at:

United States National Archives “Preservation” Page

I hope the above clarifies the scanning process for you as well as giving you some insights into the preservation process from the National Archives.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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