DIY Book Scanning

As regular readers will know I’m quite interested in the sharing of information. This includes support for projects such as the Internet Archive. One such example of their fantastic work is the sharing of public domain books which have been scanned, many by the ill-fated Microsoft book scanning project. Unfortunately, the Google Books project is (ironically perhaps) much more restrictive on licensing. My own feeling is that these books should be shared as much as possible and attaching new licensing restrictions to public domain books just because you have scanned them is ludicrous.

One potential solution to this is to scan books yourself but those that have done even more than a few pages of a book on a flatbed scanner know that this is a long a tedious process. The commercial scanners used by Microsoft, Google and the like are much more efficient but also much more expensive. Luckily the do-it-yourselfers have come along with their own book scanning solution. It’s not as elegant as the commercial scanners but it’s definitely inexpensive. Personally, I’m hoping someone comes along with something in the middle. A pre-built book scanning frame and platen which you can add cameras and accessories to and use with the open source software which has been developed.

You can watch the original Instructables video on building a DIY book scanner or visit the new DIY Book Scanning site with news and forums.

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