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Scanning Solutions for Booksellers

Converting an Ordinary Scanner to a Book Scanner

by Peter Davenport

#129, 3 November 2008

To give you some background I have been active for 10 years as our Electronic Coordinator. This is for the Family History Society of Cheshire (UK), and we digitise films books maps, etc. FYI, go to here...

... and you will see some of our production, so I am well versed in scanning.

To have a book scanned here costs at least 30 Pence a page plus expensive postage. So the idea occurred, how can an ordinary scanner do the trick? First of all, I did a market survey in PC world to find a scanner with the least amount of plastic beyond the bulb or lamp, and the Canon filled the spot - in my case, a Canon Lide 25. My theory was, if it was no good, all I have spent would have been about $50.

So attached is a picture of the same scanner somewhat looking naked:

To get this far I had to get it apart, which, according to an old work colleague, if it has been made, it can come apart. The first thing I did was to stick a label on the glass and mark where the scan head passed.

Then I used a knife to remove the 2 plastic strips, so that the glass could be removed for cutting away the bit that was not required. With fine tuning, and bearing in mind that it was only a rough trial - doing it again, it would look a lot better - but it will go within a quarter of an inch of the gutter.

I have done over 7000 pages with it.

For me it is convenient, as if you had a rare book, and I offered to get it scanned, and it got lost in the post .... So for a 200-pager it is convenient.

In the intervening years, Plustek has brought out their version, which is very good, and one can easily scan 200 to 300 pages an hour.

With Acrobat it does not matter if every other page is upside down, as there are variations as to rotation.

Hope this may be of interest, but now I have another revolutionary scheme afoot!

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