Any suggestions for the best method of digitising an old school group photo? This is on a roll about 1 metre long and 130mm wide. Too long to fit on my scanner bed. It is also liable to cracking if rolled too flat. My current idea is to place parts of under glass to keep it flat. Any other suggestions?


My first thought is that humidity is your friend, at least as far as rolled photographs are concerned. One approach is to put the rolled photograph into a closed container with some damp cloth/paper towels/sponge making sure that the photograph itself does not get wet. After a day or two see if it's a bit more flexible.

A suggestion from the National Archives is to carefully unroll a short segment of the image (imagine a scroll) at a time, allowing it to curl before and after the small area you've flattened. Then photograph that narrow flat area and composite the series of photographs into a panorama.

A combination of the two approaches may be your best bet, but the re-humidification may do the trick on its own. Don't leave the print in the container too long (multiple days/weeks) so as not to risk mold/mildew formation.

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    Using a camera for digitization seems like a best practice for archival materials. It is applicable to three dimensional artifacts too. Flatbed scanners are very limited. – Bob Macaroni McStevens Apr 7 at 18:47

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