Here’s a quick scanning primer:
- If you’ve scanned something nobody has before, you win.
- If you scan something somebody has before, but better, you win.
- If you scan something as well as somebody before but add metadata, you win.
- If your scanned, metadata-laden collection of something is browsable/downloadable, you win.
- If you scan something worse than what’s out there, you lose.
- If you scan something and destroy it in scanning it, you lose.
- If you refuse to scan something because you’re scared, you lose.
Scan because you’re concerned that there’s no record of an item that is easily accessible to a future audience. Scan because you think you have something unique and want to ensure there’s multiple copies of it, even if those other copies are simply digital files. Give your work to people who will hold it for you. Put it up yourself.
Scanning is, at its most fundamental nature, a photograph. It’s an analogue, a rendering, a rendition of a thing, an item. It allows some percentage, always less than one hundred, of that item to be in multiple locations and reach a wider and more diverse audience. It is a leverage and a bargain against oblivion and elitism, where the chances improve that this item’s information and nature will travel far beyond a single place.
— Scanning: Some Thoughts, Jason Scott (2013)
via Valerio Nicoletti