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Solutions for Loose Material & Documents


“Loose material” is an all-encompassing category that covers most sheet media that is not bound. Pieces can range from blueprints to handwritten manuscripts, materials can range from aged parchment to thin modern papers, and markings can be added in dyes, pigments, and pencil, just to name a few examples. This diversity of items often makes developing a single, generalized digitization strategy difficult.




Conservation Handling


In addition, irrespective of the age and physical condition of a particular item, care must always be taken to maintain its condition for posterity. In particular, for unique objects, sensitive media, and items already in degraded condition, precise handling and imaging is required to ensure that an item is archived right the first time, so that the item can go safely back into storage. Yet this need for quality and care is balanced by a need for efficiency. Where other solutions would require a choice of either speed or quality and conservation handling, our systems allow you to achieve both.

All of our reprographic workstations are custom machined from aerospace grade aluminum and feature inert hard-tops, safe for even the most fragile materials. On the Atom, these hard tops are modular, and can be interchanged for vacuum boards, magnetic boards, and custom machined options for extremely sensitive material. Adjustable hard-stops on the DT AutoColumn ensure that the camera never comes into contact with the item, and pneumatic glass platens can secure loose materials with minimal contact to securely ensure flatness of field.

The Morgan Library & Museum. RvR 53. Photography by Graham S. Haber

Preservation Quality

DTCH solutions exceed FADGI 4-Star and Metamorfoze-Strict standards. At the heart of all of our systems is a Phase One imaging sensor that provides up to 150MP of resolution with true 16-bit color. Coupled with custom-built illumination with high spectral flatness, high resolution lenses, and vibration-free electronic shutters, this results in true Preservation Digital Objects with accurate color, tone, and detail. Finally, leveraging Phase One’s raw processing software, with its class-leading debayering algorithms, DTCH solutions extract pixel level detail and color accuracy previously only seen in cumbersome multi-shot systems.

Production Speed


Loose material collections can contain tens of thousands of documents, and unlike bound materials, require more extensive handling to move from one page to the next. With additional potential features like transilluminated watermarks, digitizing loose material can take longer than bound collections.

DTCH’s instant-capture solutions shift the limiting factor in speed to the operator. No more waiting around for a scan to finish – any DT system can image items as quickly as you can move them on and off of the imaging stage. Complex illumination setups for raking light or transillumination are simple to achieve, and our custom Capture One Cultural Heritage software enables rapid automated cropping and processing to archive your collections faster than ever before.

The Morgan Library & Museum. Photography by Graham S. Haber

Extensive Flexibility


Our systems are versatile, modular, and upgradeable to ensure you’re not stuck with a limited tool box. They are also flexible in their use, allowing techniques that are impossible on competing systems.

Interoperable and Modularly Upgradable

Our modular solutions for digitizing loose materials include a choice of several reprographics system (such as the DT Atom, DT Element, or DT Versa), a camera head (such as the DT RCam or iXG), and lighting. Each of these components can be purchased, traded in and upgraded separately. For instance, an institution that purchased a [DT Versa and DT RCam] for scanning newspapers would only need to add the DT Film Scanning Kit to scan an encyclopedic collection of transmissive materials.

Creative Lighting

Most of the time Cultural Heritage imaging is done with very flat prescriptive lighting, typically two lights mounted 45° from the subject. However,  there are situations where more creative lighting is required, for instance, to rake light across an embossed cover to enhance the dimensionality of the embossing. DTDCH systems can provide this creative lighting. With the DT Versa and DT Element the lights are always on light stands and can be easily raised or lowered without limitations. With the DT Atom the DT Photon lights can be removed from the fixed arms and placed on stands in any position.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection. 


The DT VERSA is a multi-role copy stand that allows the digitization of many different types of material sizes. From books (using the glass top plate), film (partnered with DT FSK), loose manuscripts and flat art. The DT VERSA is a fast and versatile digitizing machine that is a great compliment to any institutions preservation needs.


Legacy copy stands were designed to meet the relatively loose precision required for film capture. The DT ELEMENT Reprographic System was built from the ground up for the era of digital capture.

Have more questions about our solutions or looking for something more custom?