I’m happy to say we have a news section again, thanks to the hard work of Matti Kariluoma. I’ll keep the site periodically updated with news from the forum and book scanning news in general. Matti also managed to save all the old posts (check the archives dropdown below), so with some 303’s in our .htaccess we should un-break a good part of the Internet.
We are a community of people who build our own book scanners. We also write Free software for book scanning. We are the missing link between your bookshelf and your e-reader. Join us! Get involved by trying a simple scanner, building a kit, or pushing the limits of scanning technology. If your questions can’t be answered by reading, write us an e-mail: diybookscanner [at] gmail.com.
The Archivist Book Scanner
A machine to bring your books into the future, intact. A beautiful black wooden bridge between your bookshelf and your e-reader. The culmination of hundreds of prototypes and years of labor. Filled with countless thoughtful details from thousands of willing contributors. People like you. Buy a kit, read the user guide, or build one yourself from scratch.
|Do-It-Yourself Book Scanning is using cheap, compact cameras and Free software to scan books quickly and efficiently. DIY Book Scanners can be as simple as a camera and a piece of glass [PDF] or as involved as the Instructable that brought our community together [PDF / Vimeo]. We’ve come a long way since then. We have GPL-licensed laser cut designs, aluminum designs, and detailed instructions for beginners. We even have Official Kits available in the United States and across the European Union. We have built hundreds of scanners and freely shared thousands of design improvements. We are the most open, sharing, and productive scanner building community on the ‘net, and we’re looking forward to meeting you in the Hello Thread, where our members tell their stories and reasons for getting involved.
TL;DR – Point a camera at a book and take pictures of each page. You might build a special rig to do it. Process those pictures with our free programs. Enjoy reading on the device of your choice.
Oh, there’s so much we could talk about. May we start with a little bragging? DIY Book Scanner is notorious as an example of Open Innovation – that means that you, as a member of this community, are the one doing the important work of innovation and invention. Who recognizes this?
Well, how about The New York Times?
Or the BBC?
David Bollier of
There are also many hundreds of blog posts out there.
In fact, HUNDREDS of people have built their own version of a DIY Book Scanner. That’s why it’s called DIY – Do It Yourself. Along the way, we have learned a LOT about what makes a scanner good or bad, and where the hard problems are. That said, we are always looking for help and ideas, especially with the scan processing software and the scan workflow overall. We need help from programmers and UX people to make this project and these scanners all they can be!
Who are these hundreds of people?? Might be better to ask what they’re doing. DIY Book Scanners have been used to:
…and about a zillion other things. As we’ve learned, there are as many reasons to build book scanners as there are books and book lovers.
Unlike traditional scanners (which are slow, buggy, and break book bindings) DIY Book Scanning is fast and gentle. DIY Book Scanning re-imagines photocopying. In essence, it is simply pointing a camera at a page, and taking a picture. To be honest, most of us use two cameras because it’s twice as fast – up to 1200 pages per hour. Since we’ve only got two hands, we build special frames to hold the lights, cameras, and other specialized parts while we turn pages and take pictures. All those page-pictures need post-processing. We have two excellent Free software packages — one called Book Scan Wizard and one called Scan Tailor to clean the pages up in just a few clicks. After that, they can be converted into the format of your choice, and read on the device of your choice.
Though designs vary substantially, DIY Book Scanners have roughly the following parts:
Do you still have questions, or are you ready to get started? Then join us in the forums, we are waiting for you!