As a minimum, the UCSC Library Digital Initiatives department scans materials according to the Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials: Creation of Raster Image Master Files from the Federal Agencies Digitization Initiative (FADGI) - Still Image Working Group.
Master files are nearly always TIFF files with 24-bit RGB mode bit depth. Scanning resolution varies depending on the size of the original photograph or image.
See page 60 in the Technical Guidelines for more details.
What do these standards mean to those of us who'd like to enlarge and print a digital file? Using this handy page that helps calculate printed images sizes based on dpi and the screen or printer resolution, here are some general guidelines:
Note that reproduction prints from negatives and slides are generally much better quality. For more information about printing resolutions, consult your publisher, printer or production artist.
Questions about our digitization? Send us an email.