You're raising this for discussion _now_, amongst everything else  
that's going on?

If I recall correctly, the WMUK board meeting discussion was provoked  
by a comment I made earlier in the meeting. My original thought was  
that a flat-bed scanner or similar could potentially be very useful  
to museums in terms of digitizing old images/documents etc. I would  
imagine that a high-quality one of these would cost a few hundred  
pounds -- whereas the book scanning machine as described is either  
something that likely would cost tens of thousands of pounds, or  
would have to be created on a custom basis.

Of course, the real expense with digitization is not the machinery,  
but the costs involved with hiring someone to operate it, feed it  
material and process the results. The last part is where wikimedia  
can be of most use, IMO. It's an open question of how much more of  
the process we'd have to be involved in so that the digitization  
happens, which would vary depending on the current status of the  
digitization efforts at each institution and also the capabilities/ 
resources available at the institution.

Mike

On 26 Aug 2009, at 23:28, Andrew Turvey wrote:

>  { margin: 0; }
> We had a discussion at a recent Wikimedia UK board meeting about  
> potentially buying some digitisation equipment which could be used  
> to generate content for the Wikimedia projects. This recent email  
> to the EN-WP list sparked my interest.
>
> Does anyone have any experience with equipment like this, and could  
> you recommend anything? Any idea what the price range and quality  
> typically is?
>
> Also, is anyone else in the Wikimedia community currently doing this?
>
> Thanks,
>
> ---- Forwarded Message -----
> From: "Steve Bennett" <stevag...@gmail.com>
> To: "English Wikipedia" <wikie...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Sent: Sunday, 23 August, 2009 10:55:32 GMT +00:00 GMT Britain,  
> Ireland, Portugal
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Wikipedia reaches 3 millionth article
>
> On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 11:15 PM, David Gerard<dger...@gmail.com>  
> wrote:
> > I believe they have machines to turn pages, and something to figure
> > out the distorted photo of the book and render it how it would  
> look as
> > a flat page.
>
> Yeah, there are videos of these machines. The book sits open, the
> scanner comes down and scans both open pages at once. As it goes up
> again, it sucks on one page, causing it to flip over. Then repeat.
>
> Oh, look, here you go:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlOQuuLYavY
>
> And while we're at it:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_scanning
>
> Steve
>
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