I have a rather large number of old banjo songs in the large format that piano players would use.  I have measured the covers at 260mm x 360mm or 10.25in x 14in. Of course I cannot scan these on a letter-sized scanner but I am curious about where these sizes originated. In doing some research, I came up with terms like 'book sizing', 'Imperial Folio', 'Medium Folio', and 'Demy Folio'.  It seems the numbers are all over the map. Does anyone have a common description of what this means. They are not A4 size, which is unknown to most of us in the U.S., but are close to that size.

I would very much like to scan some of these pieces but don't know how to go about getting the entire page scanned. Any tips on accomplishing this?

Also, if anyone is collecting these rare documents, would you be interested in purchasing them? I bought them from a gentleman in New Zealand, of all places, named Neil Grant. They are old and worn around the edges  but the music itself is in good condition. Many of the pieces have a second banjo part along with the piano part. I have a spreadsheet of titles, composer, arranger, publisher, published date, and which instruments are included. If anyone is interested in the spreadsheet, I have included it below. The number of pieces is 130.

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Hi Al, I had the same problem some years ago, I was than still serving as a Police Sergeant before my retirement so I contacted our Police plan drawer who had a commercial scanner that could copy documents of many sizes and he kindly did the job for me reducing them all to A4 size. I expect a local print shop would be suitably equipped albeit with a charge per copy made....Steve.

Thanks, Steve. I checked with my copy shop and it would be expensive. I just found a way to do it with Photoshop. I am going to try that first. I will keep you posted.

Steve Harrison said:

Hi Al, I had the same problem some years ago, I was than still serving as a Police Sergeant before my retirement so I contacted our Police plan drawer who had a commercial scanner that could copy documents of many sizes and he kindly did the job for me reducing them all to A4 size. I expect a local print shop would be suitably equipped albeit with a charge per copy made....Steve.

Hi Hal,

Most of the large format or "regular music size" pieces are about that size-- even the later Stewart Journals after George Bauer appropriated the assets.

I use one of these...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JXLGETI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_...

I only use the scan function and have only printed with it a few time using the ink it came with so I do not know the quality (inkjet is too expensive for me).  It scans pretty quick and once I learned the controls it does a great job.  Most of the stuff I have posted to the internet archive was done with it.  I've yet to wear it out.

I cut a piece of 1/2" plywood to the size of the scanner bed and covered it with white craft paper.  I then added a pull handle to the top at the center balance point.  I use that instead of opening and closing the top when I am scanning.  Speeds up the process quite a bit.

I am set up to do my collection via 35mm digital camera. I believe it was Ian (thereallynicephotographer) who told us how he set up a vacuum box to hold the sheet music in position while he photographed his stuff. I acquired all the equipment (which is minimal) but have only done a couple of test pieces. I have a huge number of the large format pieces...just haven't gotten 'round to it.

I used to used a friendly architect's office when I lived in Scarborough, they had a large scanner which reduced or enlarged so I got one or two things reduced to A4 from the Double Elephant, normal banjo music size. I suppose that all architects will have similar facilities.

The history of paper sizes is totally whacko. It appears that anyone who sneezed generated a new size. There are sizes for every country and probably every paper-maker. Almost all of our modern sizes are derivatives and in the US, that means tracking it back to British Imperial sizes...maybe.

The original size isn't 10.25 x 14 but probably 23" x 28" (Imperial "Elephant"), trimmed down and folded. Today you would print on 22 x 17 (getting two copies per) or the larger 44 x 34 (4 copies per) and cut it down as required.

Thanks, Marc. That size makes sense.

Trapdoor2 said:

The history of paper sizes is totally whacko. It appears that anyone who sneezed generated a new size. There are sizes for every country and probably every paper-maker. Almost all of our modern sizes are derivatives and in the US, that means tracking it back to British Imperial sizes...maybe.

The original size isn't 10.25 x 14 but probably 23" x 28" (Imperial "Elephant"), trimmed down and folded. Today you would print on 22 x 17 (getting two copies per) or the larger 44 x 34 (4 copies per) and cut it down as required.

Thanks Richard but it would be pretty expensive to fly to Scarbrough to find an architect to scan these for me. I guess I could look around here.

Richard William Ineson said:

I used to used a friendly architect's office when I lived in Scarborough, they had a large scanner which reduced or enlarged so I got one or two things reduced to A4 from the Double Elephant, normal banjo music size. I suppose that all architects will have similar facilities.

Thanks Marc. Google has an app called Photoscan that will stitch together 4 corners of an image but it is calibrated to only do letter size and smaller. The final product is really pretty nice.

Trapdoor2 said:

I am set up to do my collection via 35mm digital camera. I believe it was Ian (thereallynicephotographer) who told us how he set up a vacuum box to hold the sheet music in position while he photographed his stuff. I acquired all the equipment (which is minimal) but have only done a couple of test pieces. I have a huge number of the large format pieces...just haven't gotten 'round to it.

One of the software programs I messed (I can't recall which) with had a feature that would eliminate sphericity inherent in photographing flat stuff. Once I had my set-up, I could do a photo-shoot and then select all the files. It would crop them all to one size and fix the sphericity for all the selected files. I figured I could spend a weekend shooting everything and then process them all later.

Now I can do all of that with my smartphone and a couple of apps. I haven't touched my 35mm in years. The only thing I need to complete the process using my smartphone is a remote shutter-release. Heck, there is probably a voice command app for that...   

If you buy a smartphone holder for your tripod, they usually come with a bluetooth shutter-release for android and IOS. Ebay has them pretty cheaply.

Trapdoor2 said:

One of the software programs I messed (I can't recall which) with had a feature that would eliminate sphericity inherent in photographing flat stuff. Once I had my set-up, I could do a photo-shoot and then select all the files. It would crop them all to one size and fix the sphericity for all the selected files. I figured I could spend a weekend shooting everything and then process them all later.

Now I can do all of that with my smartphone and a couple of apps. I haven't touched my 35mm in years. The only thing I need to complete the process using my smartphone is a remote shutter-release. Heck, there is probably a voice command app for that...   

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PJSIIES/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D1ZFXE8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_...

I bought these to do banjo videos and they work just fine.

The problem I have with photos is that it keeps all the brown pages and water stains.  When one goes to print it wastes toner or ink.  It also makes it hard to read and looks ugly.

Since the print was black on white to begin with and only the acid in the paper caused it to turn brown I see no reason to retain the discoloration.

Much of the stuff I have scanned has been chocolate brown.  Once the scanner is properly adjusted it makes a crisp image with black print on a clear white background-- perfect for printing and using and preserved for eternity with an unlimited amount of copies being made.

For example check the following...

https://archive.org/stream/excelsiormethodf00lans#page/4/mode/2up

The pages are brown/grayish and it does not print well.  It adds nothing for the end user.

Then compare it to this one that I just posted...

https://archive.org/stream/ASouthernGentlemanJennings/A_Southern_Ge...

Crisp and ready for printing!  The original (now owned by Marc S. even though he does not know it yet) is yellow and dirty-- but was not when it was first printed.

Color plates and covers I will only adjust some of the yellow out of as long as it does not ruin the colors.

The above scanner that I posted a link to is cheap (esp. with amazon prime) and works excellently.  The scanner bed is 11 x 17 and I have not run into a piece of sheet music that I could not scan.

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