There has been an ever-increasing momentum in the academic marketplace for creating medium and large-scale digital archives that are quickly and easily accessible by diverse clientele both at home and abroad. Whether the user is a student, researcher, librarian, or workplace professional, it is critical to quickly sort through the noise and swiftly recognize and access relevant and reliable data and materials to support their needs.
The Bernard Becker Archives at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, is one such example. Serving as a repository for the university and its affiliated hospitals, the Archives showcases and documents its history, publications, special collections, and past students and faculty. It also serves as an essential reference point for current students, faculty, and researchers from around the country.
In February 2019, when looking for a “go-to” digitization system for expanding its online offerings, the Archives decided upon the Kirtas Archive Scanner 3.0 (KAS). Stephen A. Logsdon, department head, relates the reasons why the KAS was the best fit for the Archives’ digitization needs:
“We selected the Archive Scanner for its versatility, speedy workflow, and price. The most impressive feature of the Archive Scanner is the speed of the workflow compared to a traditional flatbed scanner. The overhead camera allows the archives staff to scan materials in a variety of formats at a fast pace without risking damage to those materials. Additionally, the Archive Scanner (MultiDotScan) software capabilities significantly speed up the scanning workflow as well.”Stephen A. Logsdon
Utilizing high-end Canon cameras and lenses, the KAS provides high resolution, full-color quality for true-to-life, digital reproductions of rare, fragile materials. The system’s compact, modular design allows for easy transport and quick installation in limited spaces such as small library offices, reading rooms, or areas housing closed stacks of valuable, out-of-print material. The KAS also offers uncompromised reliability without the concerns of complicated and unnecessary mechanics, moving components, and post-processing software add-ons.
“The Becker Archives has largely substituted the Archive Scanner for any job where a flatbed scanner would typically be used. It is now our go-to scanner for materials A4 size or smaller, such as photographs, letters, and negatives. Additionally, it is suitable for scanning rare books and oversize documents.Stephen A. Logsdon
In the era where the demand for quick, high-quality digital content is increasing exponentially, mid-level educational institutions with limited financial and personnel resources at their disposal must act quickly to secure reliable, cost-effective preservation solutions that will address short-term challenges and ensure long-term viability. The acquisition of the KAS has allowed the Becker Archives to achieve greater flexibility and productivity in its digitization ventures and has the renowned institution poised for even greater success in the future.