Digitization Challenge: Oversized Material

I work in the department in the library which fulfills patron, faculty, staff, and curator image digitization.  One recent request I was tasked with at work involved the scanning of several large maps that are part of the library’s collection.  And I do mean large:  two of the maps had to be captured in six separate exposures to be stitched together.  Our department’s most recent production equipment purchase was an A1 planetary scanner, but even its 23” x 33” bed couldn’t capture the maps in one shot.  The maps themselves had been encased in mylar to protect them, but had to be removed from this housing for digitization.  They dated to the World’s Columbian Exposition, and they were and still are rather brittle.  Paired with the unwieldy size, and digitizing them proved to be quite the challenge.  It was a treat to explore them in such detail, and a good excuse to make sure my Photoshop skills are up to snuff.

 The setup. 

The setup. 

 The smallest map from the order. 

The smallest map from the order.