Last week in my post about the SMU game I talked about slicing a newspaper article out of the scrapbook because I couldn’t get the book on my scanner. I did that because it was easy and quick but I had several other options. My favorite is the BetterLight scanner. I’m going to admit right up front that I am far from an expert here–for several years, in fact, I believed that this was a scanner that had better light than the others. (False. It is much, much cooler than that. I’m not capable of explaining it myself, but here’s a link to an explanation.)
I believed this because I had never seen it. It resides in its own locked room near the front of the library, labeled with a sign so discreet that I had never noticed it. Then one day a fellow came in with something that was both very interesting and very large. I really wanted a scan of it and the only way to get one was with this device. My colleague Amanda, who in fact is an expert, let me come in with her and watch the whole process. It’s time consuming, but the results are remarkable.
The scanner, by the way, has been given a name:
So what was so interesting I had to have a copy of it? A beautiful hand-drawn map of the Rice campus in 1952. Here’s a tiny corner of it being scanned:
And here’s the small copy I have:
But I beg you, go click on the zoom and pan copy in the Rice Digital Scholarship Archives for a real look at what this BetterLight scanner can do. It’s amazing.
Bonus: Here’s Amanda with her keychain. The keychain has a name too—Nigel.