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You may bring a flatbed scanner, without autofeed.
Audiovisual materials (negatives, slides, prints made with 19th century photographic processes)
may not be scanned.
Here is more information about what you can bring: What's Allowed in Research Rooms
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If you're coming to Archives I in Washington, DC, please also check out the Innovation Hub. You can use our scanners for free to scan the material. No need to bring your own scanner! The caveat is that you must scan an entire files worth of material but you can immediately take home a copy of the scans (so bring a flash drive) and we'll add them to the catalog giving you credit. Feel free to read what another citizen scanner has said about the Innovation Hub on our NARAtions Blog. Please send me a message or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. Hope to see you soon!
Actually, last week a coworker and I went to the Ft. Worth NARA and scanned heirship records of Muscogee (Creek) Nation. We used their scanners, but it would have gone much faster if we had taken a third person and another scanner. but we were told portable scanners have to meet certain standards. That was the intent of my question. I’m trying to purchase a scanner and need to know what type to buy. I’m having a very hard time finding a portable, flatbed scanner that scans legal sized documents. one and have only one week to do. I don’t want to bother Ft. Worth again, because it was hard enough just getting an appointment there.
Historic and Cultural Preservation Department, Cultural Coordinator/Librarian
Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Ah, thank you for the additional information. We'll try to track down a more specific answer for you.
As government employees, we're not allowed to recommend brands or stores that would be appropriate, but one colleague mentioned that some people use cameras instead of scanners. Some smart phones even have built in cameras that can take high definition pictures. I don't know if that would work for your situation, but it would definitely be faster.
We also have more information on our website here (which you may have already seen): Scanning Documents in the Research Rooms
I hope that helps!
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Please note that while we have 2 photocopiers that have scanning capabilities (please bring your own thumbdrives), patrons are permitted to bring cameras, Smart Phones, and scanners that meet NARA's standards (as mentioned above--no auto-feed). While the summer has been indeed quite hectic, we are here for you and look forward to seeing you again. Please feel free to contact me directly (email@example.com) if you have further questions or needs pertaining to visiting/researching at The National Archives at Fort Worth.
I don't know if you have a lot to scan or just a few pages here and there. Using the reading room scanners or bringing a small flatbed definitely is the best way to go if you only expect to scan a few items.
However ... if you are planning on scanning hundreds of pages (which I have done more times than I care to think about), I would recommend a peripheral scanner. These scanners are NARA approved. I have taken mine to Denver and Riverside and had no problems getting it in. Before I arrive the first time, I always send the archivists emails with pictures so they know what is coming. These scanners are more expensive, so scanning has to be a major part of your life if you want to consider it.
I recommend the FUJITSU Image Scanner ScanSnap SV600. You can Google it and see videos of it in action, as well as how small and light it is. It really is fantastic for scanning delicate archival documents and pages from books. Basically how it works is there is a large black mat where you place your book or document that can cover up to a little bigger than 11 x 17 inches (ledger size materials). The scanner itself stands at the top of the mat and is about 1 foot tall with binocular looking lenses. When you hit scan the lenses move down and across the mat scanning your document. No placing the documents inside of any device with lids pushing down on maps with creases or books, etc. Every time I take it to the archives, researchers and the reading room mods always come up to ask about it. It is wonderful, but again, it's only worth the expense if historical archival research and scanning is your life!
Note: I am a historian and not a sales rep. I have no affiliation with Fujitsu in any way. I just love my scanner and would recommend it to anyone.