Early this fall, the Woodruff Library purchased a new microfilm reader and scanner called the ScanPro2000.
The machine is great--it is easy to use, fast, creates clear images, and has features, such as full-reel scanning, not available in other printer scanners. Here’s an overview of what it can do.
Clean up film:
Microfilm can be hard to read. Poor quality originals, bad scanning conditions, and use over time fades and scratches film. This is especially true of items that were filmed in-house, when libraries like Woodruff had equipment to create microfilm.
The ScanPro has various tools to clean-up bad film. It can auto-correct scans, darken or lighten text, and edit out film imperfections. It has powerful zoom capabilities and generally creates better scans than other, older readers.
Every year the library gets microfilm copies of newspapers, popular periodicals, and unique printed material from other libraries. Some of these items are now searchable, through resources such as the British Archives Online and the History Vault, but many are not.
The ScanPro200 partially rectifies this problem by allowing you to search single pages of microfilmed text. Here’s an image from ScanPro’s developers, e-image data, that demonstrates how this works. The search is for "Monet."
Searchability also means that you can copy and paste text from the screen into Word or Wordpad, without having save the entire page image to your hard drive.
Scan full reels:
One of the coolest features of the new reader is the auto-scanning option. The process takes some time—I recommend scanning no more than 7 pages per minute—but it’s completely automatic. It works by auto-detecting the borders of an image, scanning the image, automatically straightening, focusing and correcting image imperfections, and auto-advancing the film.
Crop, Copy, and Paste:
The images to the left show the machine’s crop features. To select an article or image, all you have to do is outline the portion of the page that you would like to have, copy it and save it as an image or paste it into a document.
Access and Support:
The reader is located on the first floor of the library in the microfilm area. It is available 24 hours; however, we ask that during working hours (8:00 A.M. - 8:00 P.M) patrons sign-up for half-hour to two hour blocks of time on a sign-up sheet next to the machine. After hours, you aren’t required to sign-up.
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