At Wed, 29 Apr 2009 13:32:08 -0400,
Christine Schwartz wrote:
> We are looking into buying a book scanner which we'll probably use for
> archival papers as well--probably something in the $1,000.00 range.
> Any advice?

Most organizations, or at least the big ones, Internet Archive and
Google, seem to be using a design based on 2 fixed cameras rather than
a tradition scanner type device. Is this what you had in mind?

Unfortunately none of these products are cheap. Internet Archive’s
Scribe machine cost upwards (3 years ago) of $15k, [1] mostly because
it has two very expensive cameras. Google’s data is unavailable. A
company called Kirtas also sells what look like very expensive
machines of a similar design.

On the other hand, there are projects like bkrpr [2] and [3],
home-brew scanning stations build for marginally more than the cost of
a pair of $100 cameras. I think that these are a real possibility for
smaller organizations. The maturity of the software and workflow is
problematic, but with Google’s Ocropus OCR software [4] freely
available as the heart of a scanning workflow, the possibility is
there. Both bkrpr and [3] have software currently available, although
in the case of bkrpr at least the software is in the very early stages
of development.

Erik Hetzner

2. <>
4. <>
;; Erik Hetzner, California Digital Library
;; gnupg key id: 1024D/01DB07E3

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