Hi Aaron,

That is a tall order for wanting something inexpensive.......!
I run book scanning/digitization here at the Getty Research Institute,
and it has taken us quite a while to find the right mix/match of gear,
software, and - most importantly - people do book scanning right. We
tried some semi-inexpensive methods (we had a very early Atiz) and we
just could not get the quality we needed. So now we have not-inexpensive

Three Internet Archive Scribe scanners with operators (we pay
One Treventus Scan Robot MDS 2.0 (
One Digital Transitions BC100  ( )

We can scan very rare and fragile material. The most fragile books we
tend to still do in a studio with a single camera as spreads or
repositioning the book for every page depending on the book etc.

The Treventus is actually the only machine that "scans" the other four
all do camera imaging. The BC100 can accommodate flat sheets that one
simply turns by hand and could do smallish newspapers and maybe even
smallish maps. We ten to do the maps and foldouts on a separate camera
rig and then integrate those files into the book.

IA has their own software. Treventus has a very elegant
scanning/workflow software that we use for BOTH the finished filesets
from our own in-house machines. We use a lot of Photoshop and the
Capture One software that supports the Phase One cameras on the BC100.
We then have a bunch of custom code that we put together that pushes our
books up to IA so that everything is manifested at Internet Archive
whether they scanned it or we did.

Treventus uses Win7 workstation, IA uses their own Ubuntu Linux setups,
BC100 shoots to Mac Pros.

Many more details that I don't want to bore everyone with. Feel free to
email with any questions.

We do about 700 books a month on the combined five scanners. Doesn't
sound like a lot......but it really is when you think that many are rare
and require special/delicate handling.

Joe Shubitowski

Joseph M. Shubitowski
Head, Information Systems
Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles CA 90049-1688
Voice: 310-440-6394
Fax: 310-440-7780
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>>> On 3/3/2014 at 7:54 AM, in message
<[log in to unmask]>, Aaron
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi all, 
> We’re looking to purchase a book scanner and I was hoping to get
> recommendations from those who’ve had experience.
> I found this fantastic thread from 2009:
> but it’s been five years so I thought a refresh could be useful.
> Here’s our requirements, in a nutshell:
> 1. Allows us to efficiently digitize books that are potentially rare
> fragile and cannot be unbound.
> 2. Gives us control of resulting file format, resolution, etc…
> 3. Can be connected to a standard desktop computer, preferably PC
> Windows 7.
> 4. Does not require dumpster diving[1] or the use of carpentry tools
(or any 
> real skills, frankly) to bring to life.
> Ideal features:
> 5. Can also scan flat, large format objects like small maps or
> 6. Is relatively inexpensive (though we will pay $$ for the right
> 7. Modular and easily upgradable.
> 8. Uses open source software...
> Thanks!
> Aaron
> [1] 

> /
> -------------
> Aaron Rubinstein
> University and Digital Archivist
> Special Collections and University Archives
> University of Massachusetts Amherst
> 154 Hicks Way
> Amherst, MA 01002
> 413-545-7963
> [log in to unmask]