New Digital Scanner/Copier FAQs

ARCHIVES I and ARCHIVES II research rooms will shortly be getting new self-service digital scanner/copiers and a new copy card system.

What kind of scanner/copiers have been purchased?  The scanner/copiers are the Sharp Model MX-M363, modified to use platen covers in place of document feeders, which are not permitted in copying original records.  The paper output is black and white but the scans can be black and white, gray-scale, or color, at a minimum of 300 dpi.

What are some of the new features of the scanner/copiers?  Scans can be made using various file formats, including .pdf, .jpeg, .tif, and .bmt. The scanner/copiers have a USB 2.0 port right in the front of copier to save scans rather than print on paper.  Unlike with other scanner/copiers, a user can preview the document being scanned to be certain that the document has been saved on the thumb drive.

If I need a thumb drive, can I purchase one on site?  Yes, the Cashiers’ Offices sells thumb drives.  The Cashier at Archives I is located within the research center on the ground floor to the right of the central information desk.  The Cashier at Archives II is located inside the research center in the elevator lobby. The thumb drives for sale by the National Archives Trust Fund are 4 GB and will sell for approximately $18.  Customers are permitted to bring and use their own thumb drives.

What is the time frame for installing the new equipment?  Beginning in mid-January, scanner/copiers will be delivered to the rooms in which they will be ultimately installed.  Within Archives I and II some OCE 1030’s may be retained.  Unlike past refreshments of copiers, we are also getting a new copy card system which adds significantly to the complexity of the installation.  We are not simply unplugging one copier and then plugging in a new one this time around.  Cables will need to be upgraded and the new machines fully tested to prove that they work with the new copy card system before we can remove the existing copiers.  We are also implementing copy card kiosks with software that needs to be integrated along with the scanner/copiers.  In this case a little inconvenience up front will avoid potential logistical and technical problems after implementation.  The target date for turning on the new copier/scanners and copy card system is Tuesday, February 21.  If that date should slip due to unforeseen issues, you will be notified as soon as possible.  We hope that you can tolerate some disruption and inconvenience as our contractors and Government employees conduct their activities.  We will try to make sure that the level of disruption is minimal and that if work can be done on weekends or in the evening, it will be.

Are any research rooms excluded from receiving new scanner/copiers?  Yes, the Still Pictures Research Room is maintaining its current Xerox copiers.  However, they will be connected to the new copy card system.


First of all, we assure you as soon as the copy card system is in operation that balances on any copy card can be transferred to the new copy card system upon request.  The procedures for implementing will be communicated as soon as they are available.

How much will copies and scans cost?

The price for a scan will be identical to that of a paper copy – 25 cents each.

How does the new copy card system operate?

Unlike past systems, the debit card equipment is integrated into the copier/scanner.  For devices other than the Sharp copiers, a separate card reader is used.  The researcher ID card will serve as the ONLY copy card.  Your account can be managed on any researcher room public use PC initially and later in the year we will roll out additional software changes to permit you to manage your account on any PC located anywhere including those with access to the NARA wi-fi system.  Instructions will be located at the public use PCs.

What is the purpose of the kiosk?

The kiosk is for adding cash ($1, $5, $10 or $20 bills).

How can I make copies if there is a problem with the Researcher Registration System and I am admitted with a paper card for the day?

The Research Room staff will have blank, generic copy cards.  They have no value initially but you can add value at the kiosk in order to make copies.

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