We live in an ever expanding digital landscape. Scanning allows us to shepherd our data from the physical realm to the digital world for easy editing, printing, and archiving.
FLAT BED SCANNING
In the copy and print world there really is no limit to what can be scanned. Apart from copyright infringement, the only real barrier is the equipment that is available. There are two types of scanning equipment: flat bed and roll fed. Like the photo above, a flat bed scanner is exactly what it sounds like, a flat "bed" for your document to lay upon and be scanned. As long as your document has a semi-flat surface and can be laid on the glass, it can be scanned. Most of these scanners are limited in size, however, maxing out at about 11x17 inches. Some businesses will have large format flat bed scanners that are basically a larger version of what is on top of most copy machines. The only thing that could prevent a document from being scanned in a flat bed is if it holds too much of a curl. That is when a roll fed scanner can be handy.
ROLL FED SCANNING
Wherein a flat bed scanner moves its lens across a document, a roll fed scanner moves the document across the lens. A roll fed scanner implements two sets of rollers, one on top and one on bottom, to feed a document across the imaging lens. This can allow for intensely curled documents to still be scanned, however, most roll fed scanners will have some limitation on how thick of a document they can accept. Some roll fed scanners can take documents up to three quarters of an inch thick.
Since we now have the capacity to store large amounts of digital data on our computers and external hard drives, we can take advantage of scanning services and begin archiving our most cherished and valuable documents. Most local copy and print shops offer small format and large format scanning services at reasonable rates. We can take our old photos, journals, or art work to them and have them conveniently digitized and even reproduced.