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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Joel, I have a Brother All-In-One with a scanner bed of 8.5 x 12 so it doesn't help me but I love the other parts of the printer. Since I don't come across pages this large very often it wouldn't be economical for me to switch. 

I downloaded one of the pages from archive.org and put it through Photoshop the way I do with old photos. I have included both of them here for you to compare.

What do you change your scanner settings to to get such nice white pages?


Joel Hooks said:

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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I'll have to make notes next time I scan on the settings.  I have to change it a little anytime the pages get darker or lighter but it is not much trouble.

I have a big scan pile, but it does not look like you have that much.  I could scan them for you and send them all back if you mail them to me.

Sadly, I am not interested in buying them as I would just give them to Marc S. and I'm starting to get the impression that he just wants digital files now too.


Thanks, Joel. My pile is actually quite large, though after looking through the music library here, I wouldn't have to scan them all. I just want digital files so I can arrange them in my music scanning program. I wonder if Marc wants these as well?
Joel Hooks said:

I'll have to make notes next time I scan on the settings.  I have to change it a little anytime the pages get darker or lighter but it is not much trouble.

I have a big scan pile, but it does not look like you have that much.  I could scan them for you and send them all back if you mail them to me.

Sadly, I am not interested in buying them as I would just give them to Marc S. and I'm starting to get the impression that he just wants digital files now too.

Actually, I never really intended to keep any dusty old sheet music...it just happened that way!

I almost always work from digital files (scan or photo), but I do love handling dusty, fragile old paper. I can smell (and sneeze) the history. ;-)

Ultimately, I want my collection fully digital...both of you have digitized large sectors of my collection but there is quite a bit left to go. As y'all know, I'm right there with you in the sharing dept. Everything I have is (or will be) freely available.

Joel jogged my memory on the inexpensive scanner. I need to tell Santa to put one under the tree.

Hi Hal, and a happy and prosperous new year to you, did you sell the music? If not how much do you want for it? I may be interested in buying it  as there are one or two items which are missing from my collection. Let me know your price and cost of delivery please.

Hello Richard. May your trudge through 2017 not get bogged down. Are you interested in the entire collection or selected pieces. I am going to compare my list with the music library and probably keep the sheets that are not in it so I can scan them and add them later. The others are up for sale. I know I had an unjolly good time getting them from New Zealand. Their copyright laws prohibit anything from leaving the country. I am sure that won't be the case here as the sheets came from England originally. But it would be helpful to know how many I will have to ship when it comes to figuring out the cost.

Richard William Ineson said:

Hi Hal, and a happy and prosperous new year to you, did you sell the music? If not how much do you want for it? I may be interested in buying it  as there are one or two items which are missing from my collection. Let me know your price and cost of delivery please.

Thanks for your good wishes Hal, I don't really need all of these pieces but I am interested in Jungle Rag, Snapdragon Galop and The Hammock Song, so let me know if you wan to sell them.



Hal Allert said:

Hello Richard. May your trudge through 2017 not get bogged down. Are you interested in the entire collection or selected pieces. I am going to compare my list with the music library and probably keep the sheets that are not in it so I can scan them and add them later. The others are up for sale. I know I had an unjolly good time getting them from New Zealand. Their copyright laws prohibit anything from leaving the country. I am sure that won't be the case here as the sheets came from England originally. But it would be helpful to know how many I will have to ship when it comes to figuring out the cost.

Richard William Ineson said:

Hi Hal, and a happy and prosperous new year to you, did you sell the music? If not how much do you want for it? I may be interested in buying it  as there are one or two items which are missing from my collection. Let me know your price and cost of delivery please.

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