I had purchased a larger format flatbed scanner earlier this year for that purpose, but the task is time consuming and tedious. Printed photos are halftones made up of dots so scanning distorts the photos creating what is called a moire pattern. When scanning with my scanner, I have to move each page to another software program, select each photo individually and descreen them. Tedious and time consuming. It probably takes at least a half day to do one yearbook. The book scanner at the library is fast and simple once you have been trained. The book lies in a cradle and I simply turn the pages and monitor the results on one of the computer screens. It automatically de-screens all of the photos on the page at once. Added bonuses are that the director, offered to have his staff process the completed scans with OCR software so the text of the books will be key word searchable and they also are cropping and de-skewing pages that need it. They have also placed the scanned books in the state's repository which is essentially an enormous online hard drive. We can either store the digital yearbooks on our website or simply link to the copies in the repository. My understanding is that the repository will also be linked to The Internet Archive and to the Digital Public Library of American (DPLA) at some point. So I have been making weekly trips to the State Library and will soon complete the yearbook scanning process.
I have chosen to go the route of storing the files on the state repository server and linking to them from our archive web site. While you will access them by simply clicking on the icon for a given graduation year on our web site, it will actually be directing you to a file in the repository. This approach saves us storage space and probably speed as well. I have copies of the scans stored on my computer at home as well for backup purposes. The repository is also backed up regularly as most large servers are. The files can also be accessed directly from the state library's repository web page. They are located under Rockport, Maine under the heading of Glen Cove Books. Another benefit is that the links to the files on the repository are a type of RSS feed. So that whenever new files are processed and loaded onto the repository, the RSS script will automatically populate our web site with the new files.
I should have all of the yearbooks for both the Academy and the Bible College scanned by the end of October and am in hopes that our archive site will be available to our alumni by the first of the year. Thanks to Adam Fisher and the Maine State Library, this is much sooner than I had anticipated.