A lot of people have started scanning their photos and in the process have learned the quick ways of scanning them and other transparencies. But what I have seen in my experience is that they get stuck when it comes to albums.

Scanning photo albums is not as difficult as you think it is. There are a lot of ways that we at ScanJunction have found out in a decade of scanning photos and here in this article, we are happy to put forth them before you.

First of all, in this digital arena, people would seldom know about what a photo album would be. Briefly, it is a collection of photos placed in particular sections of a set of pages.

There are different kinds of albums and knowing these types is very important for you to further process them. Each kind of album has different numbers of photos. Let us explore the types of albums and at the same time learn the best ways of processing them.

Insert and Remove albums

These are pretty simple and straightforward albums. They are made of plastic sheets that will have separate placeholders, made of transparent plastic. This can vary in size, can have multiple pouches that carry photos.

The Problem

The problem is the plastic pouches getting glued to each other, in turn harming the photos. The photos will be unable to be removed from the pouches by hand.

In such cases, you need to use an external tool like a wooden or steel scale. You need to insert this scale sometimes on one of the sides of the photos and sometimes on both sides depending on how moist and glued the photos are to each other.

See to it that the scale touches all the places inside the pouches where the photos are glued. This will release the stuck photos by making them easy to remove the photos.

How to Scan?

To scan, you need to remove them from the pouch and it is possible to use the above method. Remove them and scan using any of the scanners mentioned in this article, preferably flatbed.

Small Albums

These are similar to the aforementioned type of album which has plastic pouches. Just that each page will have only one pouch on one side, as opposed to multiple pouches in the previous type.

The reason behind this type being added is that the photos can be handled without scale or any other such tools.

The Problem

These albums like the previous type get sticky over a period of time due to moisture. We might not be able to remove the photos like how we easily take photos out from a normal one.

But in this case, since there will be only one pouch on one side, we can try to remove the adhesiveness of the photos by just inserting our fingers and not a tool like a scale.

How to Scan?

We will have to take out each of these photos from the album and have them scanned.

Sticky Covered Albums

The huge-sized albums, which are heavy to carry. Yes, this is the type of album that we are talking about here. These types of albums are large and have sticky pages on either side of the album.

Place the photographs on the pages and they are glued to them. Apart from this, there is a plastic cover, which is slightly sticky. Cover this over the photograph and you are done.

The photos are stuck to the pages and are laminated by the slightly sticky cover.

The Problem

The sticky page is the problem here. The slightly sticky covers are easier to remove. Once you pull out the stick cover, taking the photos out of the sticky pages is a tough task.

In certain cases, the photos come out easily by peeling them. But in most cases, this might not be possible. If you cannot peel it, then there is only one option – to unbind the album.

Unbinding can be done by loosening the screws. This is not a tough task unless you understand the album.

How to Scan?

If you could peel the photos, then you can scan them like any other loose photos that you have. If you opened the album, then the only way is to scan the photos placing the sheets on the flatbed.

This might slow down the process for the fact that you might not be able to scan four or three photos at a time like how you used to scan. You might in this case have to scan only two at a time.

You might as well have to crop the photos manually.

Black Page Albums with Holders

These are typically old albums that hold grayscale photos. The pages are black in color. This is the beauty of this type of album. The greyscale photos above the black pages are a treat to the eye.

In this section, we are only interested in the ones that have a triangular kind of holder that holds the photos.

The Problem

In such cases, the photos will easily be removable. Please be careful, since we are talking about old photos, they are bound to be brittle. By applying more force, you might end up tearing some of your precious memories.

How to Scan?

The old brittle greyscale photos are to be scanned carefully. The way you take it out from the album to scanning, everything has to be “Handle with Care”.

Black Page Albums Glued

These are even more dangerous than the previously discussed type of albums due to the fact that they are stuck to the albums. Sometimes, in such cases, the adhesive used would be weak and it will come out with a little peeling, or it would have already come out.

The Problem

If you cannot remove the photos with a little effort, then stop it. The workaround for this is again unbinding the pages of the album.

Unlike the modern albums, these are easier as they will not be difficult. All you have to do is to untie the knot that will be binding the whole album. Once you untie the know, you will be left with the loose pages of the album.

How to Scan?

Just like the stuck albums that you did in a couple of sections above, you will have to place the loose sheets on the flatbed scanner and scan them two at a time. Once you are done with scanning, you will have to crop them manually.

Spirally Bound Albums

The spirally bound albums are more or less the same as the sticky albums. They will be stuck to the pages and covered with slightly sticky transparent plastic pages.

The Problem

They are bulky photo albums that don’t have a way of scanning other than taking out the spiral bind.

How to Scan?

Scanning page by page, placing two photos on the flatbed is the only way to scan these giant albums. In the process, be careful about your scanners, you should not end up getting scratches on the flatbed glass.

Printed on Page Albums

The Problem

These are as bulky as the spirally bound ones. Moreover, they are printed on the pages and there is no way whatsoever that you can use them to take out the photos from the albums.

In addition to that, the sizes of the photos might differ.

We have to remove the sheets from the bound albums.

How to Scan?

These sheets have to be placed on the flatbed. As said above, since they have different photos sizes printed, it is important that we carefully look at the size and then place them on the flatbed accordingly.

If you have witnessed another type of album that is not listed in this article, please comment in the below section.

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