You might consider using a camera system with a vacuum table. Commercial
vacuum tables are pricey, but you can build a suitable one for $200-$300,
mostly for the pump. There are instructions online.

The big upside is speed.



On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 1:12 PM Will Martin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> First up, thanks for the feedback so far!
> I think I need to give more context.
> First, we're not going to be scanning books with these. We're scanning:
> paper.  Old loose-leaf paper.  Hundreds of boxes of the stuff.  Flatbeds
> were designed for that exact medium, so although I do like camera-based
> systems, I'm leaning towards flatbeds in this instance.
> At the moment, we have two scanners that we can use for this project: an
> Indus Bookscanner 9000, and an Epson Expression 10000, a slightly older
> model of the one several of you have recommended.  Ordinarily that would
> be plenty: we have just 3 full-time special collections staff, plus some
> student workers.
> The grant was funded through the CARES Act for the purpose of employing
> humanities academics who would otherwise be out of a job due to the
> pandemic.  It got approved, and so now we have 13 people to work on
> digital humanities projects, including a fair bit of digitization.
> Having just two scanners has suddenly become a major bottleneck.[1]
> Complicating matters, the entire grant process was rushed.  The pandemic
> hit, Congress went into overdrive and began dishing out money and
> wanting it put to use FAST.  The NEH thus had a short turnaround time.
> We got slightly less than a week to write the grant, at a point when a
> large number of the university's staff were furloughed.  Writing it fell
> on the shoulders of one faculty member, who did her best as fast as she
> could.  And it worked!  It got approved, in the amount of $300K, which
> is frankly amazing.
> But as we began looking at it, we discovered that virtually all of the
> funds are earmarked for salaries. Technology budgeting was minimal; we
> get four laptops and a couple of software licenses out of the grant
> money, and that's it.  Scanners are not an allowable expense.
> So now we've got a whole lot more people than equipment, and are having
> to pull money from other budgets to get the equipment, at a time when
> we're anticipating the necessity of budget cuts due to lower enrollment
> in fall due to the pandemic.
> So while I would love to get a few more Epson Expressions, I don't think
> we can really afford their price point, which hovers around $4K each.
> I'm hoping to get away for $1500 or less.
> This whole pandemic thing is awful.
> Will
> [1] I should note we do have more than 2 scanners, it's just the other
> ones are in use in public areas, for ILL, or are sheet-fed scanners.  We
> are leery of feeding irreplaceable documents that are 70+ years old
> through those.
Cary Gordon
The Cherry Hill Company