Scanning Guidelines


In order to scan to Maryland State Archives standards, first and foremost, the images must be a complete and accurate reproduction of the original. In order to meet these standards, we make the following scanning recommendations


1. Scanning Resolution: at least 300 dpi (paper equivalent resolution)

2. Output Format:

  • Bi-Tonal CCITT Group IV, TIFF formatted images
  • If CCITT Group IV, TIFF formatted images do not result in a completely legible image (which may be the case, especially if the original has poor legibility or includes signatures or seals), we recommend 8 bit/256 shade gray-scale jpegs with the file extension "jpg".
  • If color is necessary to the understanding of the record, imaging must be done in color

3. Compression: no less than 85% to avoid significant image degradation

4. Polarity: 100% positive polarity (i.e., black writing on white background). This is especially important to note in the case of imaging negative photostats with marginal notes

5. Placeholders: If a page of the original is missing we strongly recommended that the Agency create and insert a placeholder image identifying the missing document and the reason that it was not imaged. This is an excellent tool for making sure that every page of a document is accounted for

6. Quality Control: Someone other than the scanner should perform a quality check of each image to ensure that
a. the image is an accurate reproduction of the original and is clear and readable
b. the directory and filename for the image accurately identifies the record imaged

This web site is provided as a courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. As you develop your records management program, you should consult with the Records Management Division of the Department of General Services and your staff counsel.

This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

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