Skip to main content

South Dakota State Library Services

A list of services provided by the South Dakota State Library.

Scan Day FAQ

What is Scan Day?

Scan Day is an event hosted in libraries or museums across the state, in which digitization staff from the South Dakota State Library bring scanning and photography equipment to a community and digitize photographs, documents, and objects.

The purpose of this event is to get residents to engage in building local and state history by bringing in personal records, photographs, objects, etc. to be digitized. These items then have the potential of being shared with the local library, museum, or the South Dakota State Archives.

Most libraries, institutions, and even members of the public do not have the necessary knowledge or equipment to handle digitization projects like this, but this is where SD State Library digitization staff can help. Scan Day goals are to: 1. Identify and digitize valuable information within a local community, and 2. Assist the local library or museum to raise awareness and comfort levels with preservation of local and state history. 

What happens on a Scan Day?

Participants sign up for a time slot before the event takes place. The local organization hosting the Scan Day will have a sign-up sheet for participants. Participants can sign up for a 40 minute time slot. State Library staff can only accommodate two participants during a 40 minute time slot, and 10-15 items per person (due to limited staff/ equipment and the processing time required). Participants should have their items selected ahead of time. Scrapbooks or booklets will take longer, so participants may not be able to get everything they want scanned in the allotted time. 

When arriving at their allotted time, participants will be greeted by SD State Library staff, who will then work with participants to review and assess the materials brought in.

Participants might be asked to fill out and sign a form, which allows the library staff to digitize the items. During the 40 minute time slots, Scan Day staff will work with participants to get contact information, digitize the items, and record the descriptive information (metadata) for each item.

The items participants bring are scanned or photographed, and then the items are returned to the participants. USB drives will be provided to all participants, which will include digital copies of their items. Participants will also receive handouts and information about the host institution, the SD State Library, and the Digital Library of SD

State Library staff will bring digitization equipment to the event, including two flatbed scanners and a digital camera. The scanners can fit items approximately 8 ½ X 11 inches. Any materials larger than this will be photographed.

If my library or museum is the hosting organization, what are my responsibilities?

The responsibility of the hosting organization is to provide a space for SD State Library staff to set up equipment. The organization will also need to provide a table, chairs, and access to an outlet. Please contact the digitization department prior to the scheduled Scan Day if your organization has any issues with these responsibilities.

Marketing materials (like a flyer and sign-up sheet) will be provided by the SD State Library. The organization is responsible for distributing the marketing materials and answering patrons’ questions about the event. If possible, the host organization is also encouraged to submit an announcement to the local newspaper. 

The host organization is responsible for lining up attendees. Minimum number of attendees is six, otherwise the event may be canceled.

What items should be brought to a Scan Day?

Things that would be acceptable to bring: photographs, letters, certificates, journals, artwork, artifacts, memorabilia, scrapbooks, etc. Each Scan Day participant is limited to 10-15 items. 

Photographs of all shapes and sizes are encouraged, but they should be clear/ not blurry. The items brought in can be from any time period, but more recent items – like photographs – should have been taken by participants so there are no copyright issues.

It is preferred that items brought to an event are identifiable (meaning the people, location, and approximate time period are able to be determined).

Bring as much information on the items as you can. Preparing an inventory, description, or notes of the items before the event will save staff a lot of time. Try to answer these questions for each item brought to Scan Day: Who? What? When? Where?

Here are some examples for photographs to give you an idea:

  • Who?
    • Who is in the photograph? Who is the subject?
    • Include full names (avoid things like “Mom” or “Grandpa”)
  • What?
    • What is going on in the photograph? What is the context?
    • Why was the photograph taken?
  • When?
    • Try to date the photograph
    • Even a date estimation, like “between 1925-1932” or “late 1940s” is better than nothing
  • Where?
    • Where was the photograph taken?
    • Where was the photograph published?

Items that are generally discouraged include: newspapers or newspaper clippings, copyrighted materials (unless permission is obtained from the copyright holder), and anything that contains private information. As a general rule of thumb, do not bring anything to Scan Day that you would not be comfortable having displayed online.

Can items be donated to the SD State Library?

The SD State Library preserves and digitizes historical records of SD state agencies and the SD Legislature. If you have items or records that help to document the history and heritage of South Dakota, you may want to contact a participating institution of the Digital Library of South Dakota, or the SD State Archives

What is the Digitization Department at the SD State Library?

SD state agencies by state statute are required to submit publications to the SD State Library. SDSL is the historical repository for state government publications, some of which go back to territorial days. State library staff is working to digitize and make available online many of these historical publications. Historical documents that have already been digitized and made available include:

  • SD Legislative Manuals - Blue Books (1903-present)
  • Governors Inaugural/State of the State messages (territorial days - present)
  • Reports of the Attorney General (1897/98 - present)
  • Reports of the State Treasurer (1890 - present)
  • Supreme Court Reports (1877 - 1923)
  • Journals of the House and Senate (1887-1921)
  • Biennial Reports of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (1890 - 1969/70)
  • SD Codified Laws and Session Laws (1877 - ongoing project)

Keep checking the online repository as more publications are loaded. Future titles will include SD Session Laws and SD House & Senate Journals. 

Visit the online digital collections: http://sdsdl-montage.auto-graphics.com/