A Book Scanning Guide – The Basics, The Benefits and The Technology

Every person in the developed world has experienced the benefits of computer technology and its effects on their life, whether directly or indirectly, and businesses throughout the world are turning their expensive and space-consuming paper filing systems into digitised, online and secure versions thanks to the benefits of document scanning technology. Thanks to a range of new scanners and scanning techniques, it is not only single page documents or business files that can be transferred to a digital medium. Whole libraries of books can be preserved and protected in an online environment and made available over the internet in databases to free up the constraints of having single copies, useable by only one person at a time in one place. There are a variety of techniques for Book Scanning that are available, whether you require a large volume of pages to be digitised quickly, or wish to preserve delicate books with even more delicate scanning techniques. Most Book Scanning requirements can be catered for.

The Benefits of Book Scanning

Books have been seen throughout history as the best way of storing and preserving large amounts of written information in an accessible manner, and this is not going to change any time soon. However, books are hindered in several ways that can be overcome thorough the Book Scanning process. There have been many instances of entire collections of books and documents being destroyed by fires or natural disasters. The storage of books, either in a warehouse or in your own personal collection can never guarantee the longevity of their condition as legible, as well as costing money. By scanning books and digitising their content, often compressing vast libraries into files small enough to fit on one USB memory stick, you can save space, time and money whilst simultaneously protecting your current investment and maintaining the most delicate volumes without the need for dismantling or damaging them.

Scanning Techniques

There are several methods of Book Scanning available to the customer, and they vary depending on what the intended application of the scanned pages are, as well as on the physical integrity of the source material. The quickest and most adaptable Book Scanning technique is performed by removing the book’s spine and utilising a high speed duplex automatic document feed scanner, which copies pages at high speed, but of course will require that the book be dismantled. There are services for a subsequent re-binding of books that have had the spines removed to facilitate this kind of scanning, and as a result of the speed and simplicity of this process it is the cheapest option for Book Scanning available. If removing the spine of your book is not an option because of the delicacy of the volume, then using a book eye scanner, which essentially is a camera that takes a picture of the pages of the book one by one whilst the book is open, without touching the pages, is probably a sensible option. It allows clear, crisp scanning of a fragile book without risking damage.

After Scanning

Once you have had your library scanned and digitised, what kind of functionality can you expect from your computerised collection? Well, during the scanning process you can specify the format to which your books are scanned. One option is to have the scanned book presented in PDF format, compatible with Adobe Acrobat Reader and then universally viewable in a fixed format on most computers around the globe. Alternatively you could make your entire library open to editing via a scan which formats the entire book as a Microsoft Word Document. The resulting scan would allow copying, reworking and easy manipulation of any book you choose, saving the time and effort of copying sections by hand.

Current Applications of Book Scanning

There are several large websites which operate as online literature databases, with all the functions and content of an academic or public library, but with all the content of their books and articles digitised to enable 24 hour, global access to their collections. This has generally been achieved through Book Scanning techniques, which eliminates the need to copy out entire books manually and therefore preserves the textual integrity of the original books without the need for extensive proofing of a copyists work. Once books are scanned and digitised, this creates an easily navigable index to speed up research and for quick acquisition of a required book or article without the need to traipse around a library for hours looking for a misplaced volume. One file can be viewed an unlimited amount of times by an infinite amount of people without suffering from wear and tear and without the need for waiting lists and late return fees.