Scan Day @ CWS

The Center for Western Studies is teaming up with the South Dakota State Library to host a Scan Day event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

On this day, members of the community are invited to bring their family photographs, letters, diaries, or other materials to the CWS Fantle Building on the Augustana University campus to be professionally scanned for digital preservation. In addition to taking their scans home on a complimentary USB flash drive, participants in this free program will have the opportunity to share their materials as part of the CWS digital collections in the Northern Plains Peoples and Places (np3) database.

Participation in the CWS event is limited to the first 16 people to sign up for available 45-minute appointments.

Online registration (via the Siouxland Libraries events portal) is now open.

If the CWS date does not work for you, you're in luck! A second Scan Day event will be hosted in Sioux Falls by the Ronning and Caille Branches of Siouxland Libraries on Thursday, September 19. 

Participants in either Scan Day may bring 10-15 items they would like to have scanned by visiting State Library staff, who have provided the following tips for selecting materials:

  • Acceptable types of materials include photographs, letters, certificates, journals, artwork, artifacts, memorabilia, and scrapbooks.
  • Newspapers, newspaper clippings, copyrighted materials (without proper permissions), and materials containing private information are generally discouraged.
  • Prioritize identifiable materials over mystery items, and prepare notes on the who/what/where/when ahead of your appointment.
  • For photographs, choose ones that are of good quality and not blurry. They may be from any time period, but more recent photographs should have been taken by participants to avoid copyright issues.
  • Items larger than 8.5 x 11" will be photographed instead of scanned.
  • Multi-page items, such as scrapbooks which require special handling, will take longer and might not be completed during the allotted time. 

Additional information about what to expect on Scan Day can be found in the specially prepared LibGuide. Questions about the CWS event may be directed to Collections Assistant Liz Cisar ( or 605.274.5017). 

This program is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.