Scanning your photographs

If you have a scanner attached to your computer you will almost certainly have scanning software installed on your computer.

Scanning programs differ in how they work, but they usually offer you the choice of how to scan an item. Look for a settings, set up or options page to determine how you photograph should be scanned.


Photographs in this archive should be a maximum of 1000px wide (landscape) or 1000px high (portrait). (px = pixels, the small coloured dots which make up your computer screen image). They should be saved as a jpg or a png file.


Resolution is measured in 'dpi' (dots per inch). The higher the dpi value, the more detail can be seen in the image. For example, an image in a book or magazine will have a resolution of 300dpi while a printout from a home printer may be 150dpi.

The optimum resolution for the images in this archive is 96dpi.

Resizing a scanned image

Select resize

If you already have a scanned image, rather then the original photograph or printed item, you can resize it and change the resolution quite easily using IrfanView, a free open source photo-editing program.

Download IrfanView from and install it on your computer.

Open IrfanView, select File from the top menu bar and open your scanned image.

Before you make any changes, save your file but with a new filename to ensure that you don't overwrite the original file.

When the image has loaded, click on Image from the top menu and select Resize/Resample from the pull-down menu (or press Ctrl+R on the keyboard.)


In the example shown here we are resizing an original scan of 2880 x 1790 pixels at 300dpi to 1000 x 622 pixels at 96dpi.

Set new size

Select pixels as units and input either Width:1000 or Height:1000 depending on the original size of your image. Make sure that the width or the height doesn't exceed 1000px.

Make sure Preserve aspect ratio is ticked. The ensures the the new width and height are in proportion to the original.

Set new resolution

Input DPI: 96

Click OK to confirm your new settings.

Save your file but with a new filename to ensure that you don't overwrite the original file.