Equipment Recommendations

Below you will find the recommendations and requirements for equipment needed to participate in Maine Memory Network. Ideally, we would like to train your organization to scan, photograph, upload and catalog your collections, but if that is not feasible, please talk to us. We may be able to do some of the work for you.


Internet connection

128 MB RAM or above
CDRW drive (read and write)
17” monitor
10GB hard drive space

Things to consider:
Scanning for and cataloging on MMN can be done on less advanced systems. The better the system, the faster the process will be.

Ask yourself: How will the computer be used in your organization? Will it be used just for digital image processing or for other things such as an Internet cataloging system, word processing, bookkeeping, etc.

We suggest that you shop around and compare similar models based on the needs of your organization. For all equipment, read reviews such as those on and Technology grants are available to help defray the cost of computers and software. Check out these websites for educational discounts and grant opportunities.

Dell (
Gateway (
Apple (
Techsoup (

Flatbed Scanner

Suggested requirements for quality images:
1200 dpi (optical) x 2400 dpi (interpolated)
New scanners have USB or firewire connector
Need transparency adapter for negatives or slides

Things to consider:
The size of the scanner bed: purchase the scanner with the largest bed that you can afford – many items that you scan may be larger than standard letter size (8.5 x 11”).

The higher the dpi (dots per inch) the better the quality of the final scans.

Although they are often less expensive, hand scanners are impractical for MMN use and do not provide the best quality scans.

Epson (
Hewlett Packard (
UMax (
Microtek (

Digital Camera

Minimum requirements:
3 Megapixels – purchase the highest megapixel camera that you can afford

Things to consider:

  • Do you need extra memory chips or disks? Most cameras come with a small one.
  • Battery life and charger: how long does the battery last, can you recharge it?
  • Consider your workspace: is it practical to keep the camera plugged in during use?
  • Weight of camera: do you prefer a lightweight or sturdier camera?
  • Ease of menu: Can you easily figure out the menus on the camera?
  • Ease of transferring photos to your computer: USB cable, docking station, etc.
  • Other equipment: Do you want to invest in a tripod and lights?

Canon (
Nikon (
Olympus (
Sony (

Note: Digital photographs cannot yet be made for sale on

Imaging Software

Most scanners come with imaging software. Many of these programs are very simple and will work well to process images for inclusion in Maine Memory Network. If you want a program with more control and features, try the software below.

Adobe Photoshop CS = $650 (
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 = $60-$100 (
Paint Shop Pro 8 = $85-95 (

All of these products offer a free demo download. Photoshop and Photoshop Elements have a handy tool called Levels to adjust your shadows and highlights. Other useful tools are Curves, Brightness and Contrast, Color Balance, and Variations. For more information about editing images, click here.