My students often ask me what is the best scanner? I usually reply that it depends on how it is going to be used. My research takes me into the field to do interviews with people who want to share photographs, newspaper clippings and other documents with me. I try not to borrow objects or documents from people, because I don’t want to be responsible if anything should happen to the materials. Therefore, I need a scanner that is very portable and unobtrusive. Several years ago, I started using a Canon LIDE scanner. I have worn a couple of these inexpensive scanners out over the years (I can be pretty rough on my field equipment).
I like the Canon, because it is thin, portable and is USB powered. I can setup my laptop and scanner at someone’s kitchen table or in the barn and quickly scan a few documents without worrying about clutter or power. While these are not the scanners I would recommend for an archive, they seem to be the best scanner for the money for anyone doing field research. Genealogist, scrap-bookers and local historians are sure to enjoy the flexibility that the Canon LIDE scanner provides.
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