I’m always on the lookout for new tools to make family history scanning and archiving easier, and with Amazon Prime Day coming up on Monday here’s my wishlist of the gear I’ve been waiting to buy.
1. Epson Perfection V600
My scanners work hard and it’s about time to upgrade my old Epson V500 to a newer, faster model. I’ve used Epson scanners for over fifteen years to digitize everything from tintypes to tiny heirloom teaspoons. The included software is intuitive and has all the features I need.
One of the best benefits of this scanner is the film scanning option. The inside cover of the scanner lid can be removed to allow light to shine through the film for digitizing. Assorted plastic film carriers are included to hold negatives and slides. Whenever I find a surprise packet of old negatives I’m glad I own this scanner.
The Epson Perfection V600 is a single lens scanner that delivers excellent quality digital images for family history archiving in the essential TIFF format, as well as in JPG, PDF and many other formats.
The more expensive Epson Perfection V800 model uses a dual lens operation to extract higher resolution for digital images. The V800 also comes bundled with more sizes of film carriers and might be a better choice for scanning a variety of old negatives and slides, but the faster speed and higher resolution comes at more than three times the price of the V600 model.
2. Brownie Film Negative Film Carrier – Epson Perfection V600 – 120, 220, 620 Holder
I think everyone in my family must have owned a Brownie box camera because I’ve found dozens of packets of old 120 negatives scattered in my family collection. I’ve managed to scan a few of the negatives and compared the resulting image with a scanned print — what a difference! There’s so much more clarity and contrast in digital image made from a negative.
It takes a while to set up negatives for scanning on a flatbed and I know that an extra film carrier will speed up my project workflow. This Epson Perfection V600 – 120, 220, 620 Holder should do the job nicely.
3. Giotto’s Rocket Air Blaster – Red, Large
The Giotto’s Rocket Air Blaster is a little too much fun. The grand-boys grabbed mine for a game of air-attack and now I need a replacement. It comes in black with a red nozzle, but really, why not red again?
I’ve tried a lot of photo and negative cleaners but I keep coming back to the simplest, least invasive solution, a blast of air from Giotto’s Rocket Air Blaster. The poof of air is strong enough to knock off most dust and stray hairs, and the simple design avoids the problems of aerosol canned air.
4. Just for Fun — DOSS SoundBox Bluetooth Speaker
I bought Mr. Curator this DOSS SoundBox Bluetooth Speaker on Black Friday last year and it has become a favorite job tool. It pairs easily with phones and tablets, and has enough volume to be heard over the construction clatter. I’m ready to add one to my office scanning station, and he won’t let me borrow his.
5. Portable External Flash Drive, SD Cards, and Hard Drive
Prime Day typically features great specials on digital file storage from SD Cards to Flash Drives to Portable External Hard Drives. It’s a great time to grab a few extras for your research kit.
I like to have a few small or mid-size cards and drives to share files with relatives, and a few larger drives for my own work. After drive failure with some off-brands, these days I stick to SanDisk brand flash drives and cards.
The tiny SanDisk Cruzer Fit is great for holding downloaded conference syllabi.
I like the larger stick model San Disk Cruzer 16GB with a built-in cover for backups of my lectures and teaching materials.
The portable Seagate External Hard Drives are fast and small enough to tuck into the side pocket of a laptop bag. I love having my a copy of entire digital photo collection with me when I’m away from home. Prime members have early access to special pricing on the Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive 3.0.
Check out my Toolbox page for a closer look at more gear in my curatorial equipment chest.
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Nancy H. Vest says
I could use the rocket air blaster, too, for so many things.
I’m with you on the Epson scanners. I have been using them for years and years, first with our photography studio and then with the genealogy. We do use a small camel hair brush for negatives ( a throw back to our dark room days) and a cloth for cleaning eye glasses ( and not used for anything else) are a big help for the keeping the glass on your scanner, prints and negatives dust free, also. Years ago, we should have bought stock in companies that sold can’s of air and air blowers. We add the information about the photo in the medadata of each print, as I copy them. We have our own cloud system, so we can access our photos at home or on the road. As a photographer, I keep everything backed up in triplicate and one of those is not in our home. The other way to back up is to share, share and share. We retired this year and travel, in our RV with our scanner and camera, all over the country visiting family, court houses, cemeteries and libraries. We ask to scan photos of family, when we visit. We leave them with copies of family photos we scanned of theirs and family photos we have collected on our travels. We have been very impressed with the newer phones, with apps for scanning and the cameras are getting better and better. We are so happy you are out their teaching and passing on the word! Maybe someday there is be no such thing as a “lost photo” and a “face” for every family.
Denise May Levenick says
Hi Karen, Thank for the encouraging words and for your work on the road rescuing photos across America. I love the idea of your traveling scan station. Let’s keep hoping that you are right — “someday there is be no such thing as a “lost photo” and a “face” for every family.” ~ thanks for stopping by, Denise