Supplies & Tools Recommended by Practical Archivist

by Sally J.

About the links: The links on this page are Amazon affiliate links, which means you pay the same price you would with any link, but I get a small cut of the total. It’s like leaving a tip in my tip jar, which is awful nice of you. You don’t have to buy *these specific items* to leave a tip, either. Any purchase you make via these links does the trick.




The links to scanners (below) are the closest current models to the ones I currently use. I did a lot of research (a LOT!) before I chose them. Nobody gave me a free one for review.

I highly recommend them both, and have suggested them to many clients and friends over the years.

(1) My beloved Canon LiDE portable scanner. I can’t say enough good things about this scanner. It’s powered from your laptop to reduce power cords (bonus!) plus the lid expands so you can scan bulky items without breaking the binding (double bonus!) You can lock the platen to keep it safe during travel, and mine came in a cardboard box with a handle. Perfect for car travel!CanonLiDE220_laptop

(2) The CanoScan Image Scanner is what I use to scan film like slides and negatives. It has an extra light in the lid that shines light through the film because if you don’t shine light through a slide, it scans as completely black. The scanner comes with film holders so you can scan multiple items in a single pass. Film scanning is s-l-o-w because it’s high resolution, so the more you can set it and forget it, the better in my book.


External Hard Drives:


(1)   Since my preferred brand disappeared (Maxtor), I’ve been  recommending Western Digital external hard drives  to my clients who want to keep costs down.

For my clients who don’t need to keep costs down, but don’t want to pay extra if there’s no actual benefit, I recommend…

(2) IoSafe, the Sherman tank of external hard drives, the waterproof and (yes, believe it or not) fireproof XHD. I was skeptical until I saw the independent 3rd party review / stress test by Slippery Brick. They left it on their gas grill at 500 degrees F for an hour, then kept it submerged in a bucket of cold water for several hours. The switch and some wires melted, but the drive was intact and the data was easily ac


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