Scanning Sports Cards Into The Collection

In this article I am going to discuss how I scan pictures into my collection. I’ve been scanning front and back images of my cards for the last few years. When I first committed to getting the collection scanned, I thought I was insane. There were so many cards, I felt that it was going to take years to accomplish the task. Funny thing is, as with most projects…If you do a little here, and a little there, things actually gets accomplished quicker than you think.


But, you’ve never messed up before, right?

At one stage of the collection I was willing to snag any Cubs card made. How about making sure every Cubs card was scanned, then purging 80-90% of the collection, not even needing the pictures any longer.

1960s-Topps-Lot-ImageAt one stage of the collection I was building a 1951-1969 Topps Set Run. How about getting 1000+ new cards in, waiting a few weeks, finally getting around to scan them over a two week period, then purging the set runs shortly after, not even needing the pictures any longer.

Although, the pictures are included on a flash drive if you purch up these nice, voluptuous, beautiful lots of cards I have on EBay

How about scanning a bunch of cards before noticing there are dust, dirt and grime speckles on the white scanner thingamajiggy…That one took a piece of my soul that night.

How about initially deciding to scan every card in a top loader, then a couple years later, deciding to rescan all the cards raw. I’m just about finished with that bright idea…


Cool, you’re an idiot, tell me how to become one too!

Epson-550-ImageThe scanner I use is the Epson Perfection V550 Photo Color Scanner. The scanner is not too expensive, it costs less than $200. These were the items that came in the box…CD-ROM software, start here poster, hi-speed USB 2.0 cable, AC power adapter, cord and film holders.

The setup is ridiculously easy, the software installed without any issues and I was able to start scanning almost immediately. Keep in mind though, you will want to fiddle with the settings to adjust for the scan quality, file save location and a couple other things before you really get going…

Epson-Scan-Software-ImageThe software I use was supplied with the scanner. It is EPSON Scan Software. There are multiple modes to scan with and you can also save different custom scan settings. This is very important with different types of cards and holders.

The software is also able to scan multiple cards at one time while splitting up each card individually. You can scan cards, pictures, letters, film and slides as well. There are various resolution settings, and the software also includes a good selection of coloring and correction tools.

This is the primary software I use for getting my cards digital. But, I do use some other stuff as well. I use Photoshop very sparingly, but I use Windows 10 crop feature all the time to crop cards after scanning. I will go over that later in the article.


Well, that’s what I use, here’s how I use it…

Image-Settings-ImageThe first thing to cover is the actual scan settings and the folder where cards will scan to. Every image uses these specific scan settings. Document Type: Reflective, Document Table Is The Source, Image Type: 24-Bit Color, Resolution 600 DPI.

I wanted to go with the higher settings to achieve higher quality, but keep in mind, the higher the settings, the larger the file size for each image. ** I recommend using Google Drive to store your images. They have multiple levels of storage that can accommodate any size collection. The document sizes vary depending on custom setting selection.

File-Save-Settings-ImageNext, I make sure every scan goes directly into my Google Drive, “Cards to Organize” folder. This could be any folder you have setup to store your cards. I use the same folder every time, this way every card that comes in, goes to the same place each time and I can rename, sort and transfer all from there.

I wrote an article on how I use Google Drive to store my collection. The article breaks down what I mean by “Cards to Organize” folder. The nice thing about using Google Drive, is once that scans comes into the cards to organize folder, it is automatically being uploaded and backed up to the cloud.

I also set the prefix to “Card” and the the numbers reset after 1000, so each scan would come through Card xxx, I usually rename each card immediately as the scan comes through. Each image also scans as a .JPEG and I keep the compression level low for a higher quality image.


Let’s talk about some of my custom settings…

Custom-Scan-Settings-ImageThe next thing I am going to talk about are some of my custom settings. I have various custom settings for different cards and holders I need to scan.

Different holders could include top loads, one touches or graded cards. Some cards are scanned individually, and some cards I scan as a group. Normally, group pictures are used for the trade folder, or on forum listings.

Here are some of my most used custom scan settings.

The top load, one touch and graded card settings scan one card at time. Each card scans individually and directly into my cards to organize folder.

4-Card-Setting-ImageThe four card (Raw) setting is the main setting I use for my active collections. I line up four top loaders across the bed of the scanner. I use the top loads as guides to avoid cutting off any part of the card.

This setting scans all four cards at the same time, but separates each card individually, while still putting them directly into my cards to organize folder.

The eight card settings are set to scan everything at once, but the only setting that separates each card individually is the eight card one touch setting. The digital trade page settings scans all of the cards together, as one image and puts the scan directly into my cards to organize folder.

After any card is scanned, I name it accordingly, crop the image and sort into it’s respective storage folder.


So what do you think…Did I confuse the shit out of you? Do you like how I scan my cards into the computer? Come FOLLOW me on TWITTER and let me know how you scan your cards…