Canon Powershot G9

This camera was initially used as the project's main camera but was replaced by the Canon EOS 5D Mark II as we moved to a digitisation process more in line with best practice. It is still used for some archives where a more silent and smaller camera is required. It now serves primarily as a back up camera on research trips. It has a very servicable 12.1 megapixel sensor but using Canon Remote Capture can only capture images in the JPEG format. This is a lossy format which limits the scope for image processing and is not viewed as international best practice.

Kaiser R2CP Image Capturing Set

This copystand is relatively portable for research trips and represents the ideal as regards to document digitisation both in an archival and an office setting. The R2CP provides a solid and stable base for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II while the lighting rig helps to control the colour temperature of the document being photographed. The graduated baseplate and camera arm add further utility to this copystand and enables a quick initial set up in an archive

Drobo Pro

In addition to the two Drobo units the project also has one Drobo Pro unit. It functions in much the same way as the Drobo. It fits 8 hard drives each up to 2 terrabytes in capacity. The Drobo Pro is used to back up the Master set of digitised archival images and the working PDF versions once post capture processing has been completed. Due to it's larger capacity, the Drobo Pro is also used as the primary drive for the project's image editing processes therefore ensuring the security of the information. Both the Drobo and the Drobo Pro minimise the potential for data loss due to hard drive failure and the user interface dubbed Drobo Dashboard is very straightforward.

Hewlett Packard Scanjet N9120

This A3 scanner has a 150 page capacity Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). It has been used extensively for the digitisation of photocopies of archival documents. Research trips conducted prior to the launch of this project had built up a cache of these photocopies which are continually being digitised.


Manfrotto 190XProB

This tripod stand is used in archives with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The centre arm of this tripod can be set up to be perpendicular to the tripod legs. The camera when attached to the centre arm can therefore be positioned directly over the document to be photographed.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

This is the project's primary camera for the digital capture of archival documents. A 50mm Macro Lens is typically used and Raw (.CR2) image files are produced which are later converted to TIFF or JPEG. The camera's excellent 21.1megapixel full frame CMOS sensor coupled with it's quick processor provide both image quality and speedy performance. It's size is quite compact compared to other full frame sensor SLR cameras making it more suited to travel and a more discreet presence in an archive.

Manfrotto 714SHB

This tripod stand is used with the Canon Powershot G9. It has a sturdy yet lightweight design which makes it ideal for travel. The tripod has an innovative feature which makes it ideally suited to photographing documents. The head of the tripod stand on which the camera is attached is reversible. The camera can thrn be easily positioned directly over the document to be photographed even in the occasionally cramped working environments of some archives.

Epson Expression 10000XL

This A3 flatbed scanner is our main scanner for the taking of preservation quality digital copies of documents, historical photos and newspapers. It has a high resolution, excellent colour reproduction and shadow detail. With its high speed, high resolution scanning and Firewire connectivity this scanner has proven itself ideally suited to the high volume scanning this project engages in.


Drobo is one of the two secure storage units the project uses to keep all the master and working versions of the digitised archival images. In accordance to best practice the project maintains two of these units in two separate locations therefore minimising the risk of catastrophic data loss. The Drobo unit can hold four SATA hard drives. Each of these drives can be up to 2 terrabytes in size. The Drobo unit sacrifices some of the storage space available to provide data redundancy. Therefore if any one of the hard drives fails it can be easily replaced without any loss of data.

Funded by PRTLI Cycle 4

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF