Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

A place to introduce yourself, and to meet other awesome people.

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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by rapunzel »

I could also use an inexpensive non-destructive scanner. It doesn't need to be fast or sturdy, because I only have a few books that I really want to preserve the hardcopy.

Here and here are a couple of threads on simpler scanning cradles. I might try to adapt a design to take only one camera and deal the hassle of shuffling the pages into order on my computer.

(One of these days I'll get around to posting my destructive scanning workflow in the fora.)
My library: 916 books and 1,350 short stories
Scanned books: 517
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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by DHB »

Hello. I am Dave and live close to Salt Lake City. I spend most of my days sitting in front of a computer designing mining and processing plant stuff.

I was very happy to find this site last month. I have a lot of books and have tried to find a way to get most of them scanned and digitized. I love reading and sourcing reference information on my E Reader and the computer. I have tried the slow flat bed scanner route, but the slow pace burns me out before long. I have also tried the sheet feed scanner route, but I have taken several seminars and classes in book binding at the U of U, which has a great Rare Books department, and just hate destroying the books for scanning. I have photographed some book pages, but it is hard to hold the books flat and the lighting is usually an issue.

I am building a book scanner now, based on the wealth of ideas and experience from the members of this forum. When I get a bit farther along I would like to post some pictures and drawings. I will also probably be asking for some input on the final details.


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Joined: 28 Sep 2014, 09:42
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Country: Belgium

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by barth »

Hello Dave and fellow builders,
My name is Bart. I'm a former journalist and trained librarian working as a civil servant for the Belgian Justice Department. To earn my libraran's degree I have built the New Standard 2 from a full kit and modified it into a semi standalone scanner intended for digitizing vulnerable and precious originals. I am currently setting up a blog about the creation and purpose of this scanner and the role DIY book scanning can play in the mass digitization of special collections (ie. collections containing these vulnerable and precious originals) in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. In the process of building, modifying and testing I was able to rely on the support of many, so I have named my creation the BIT Book Scanner, as in 'Build It Together'. My main objectives now are to document this process on, to keep the scanner running bug- and error free, and to find the time to do some bulk scanning. I will give account of these endeavours on my blog, but once my scanner has found its final form and has produced a noticeable amount of output, I'll be glad to share that here, too. I've already introduced a preliminary version of my build in the thread about dual camera triggering and I hope to tell you all about in a more appropriate place soon.
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Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by sushigal007 »

Hi, I'm not comfortable putting my real name out here, so just call me Sushi. I've been hunting for a way to scan my books for a while now - I brought a wand scanner a few months ago and was pretty disappointed when I found out it couldn't scan right up to the edges of a book. I did have a go at taking a book apart, but it hurt my soul and I don't want to do that again if I can avoid it. So I was pleased when a random internet search for book scanning led me here. My biggest problem is that because I'm a full-time carer, my income is very low - I mean, a lot of the books I want scanned are actually available as ebooks on Amazon, but when they cost me 10p in the library's sale, I'm not particular enthusiastic about spending another £5.49 for a digital copy. For that reason, I'm also not going to be able to spend a small fortune on cameras and rigs. So I had a go at making a cardboard scanner and the results weren't too bad, although formatting the text afterwards is going to take a while. Still, practise makes perfect.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2015, 15:52
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Country: Chile

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by javier »

Hello DIY book scanner world!

I'm Javier from Chile. I work in preserving cultural heritage. My curiosity and inner geek is drooling on this subject. For the moment i'm figuring out the feasibility and practical issues to build a book scanner for pleasure and probably comercial uses also.

I enjoy reading literature, mostly modern or XIX century. and recently have been developing a interres in whales, from the biological aspects, they are amazing creatures! to the cultural aspects, like whaling and recent conservation movement.

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Joined: 03 Jan 2015, 15:58
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Country: USA

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by sunhou »

Hi, everyone. I have been popping into this web site for many years, thinking of someday building a scanner. I am a professor in the northeast part of the US. I have just about 500 books in my office, and whenever I go to a conference or travel, I always bring along a few books related to things I'm working on. And I always think it'd be great if I had my whole collection in my laptop. I probably have something close to another 500 books at home, and many hundreds of children's books for my kids.

When I first started reading here some years ago, the scanner cameras were being triggered by things like cables pushed by bicycle brake handles. It seemed like something I would have a hard time getting set up right, not being very mechanically apt. Those seem so primitive now compared to using a Raspberry Pi to control the cameras!

What finally pushed me over the edge to get serious about scanning is that I will be living abroad for about 6 months next year. I've got 3 kids under 6 years old, and we read a lot to them every day. But I do not want to lug a suitcase full of children's books around the world. I got upset when Daniel retired from making Archivists just as I was about to buy one, but was very happy that Jonathon stepped up to keep them coming.

I just got an Archivist from Jonathon a few weeks ago. With almost no room in our house and almost no time because of my kids, I assembled the whole thing on top of a 4-foot-high bureau, late at night after my kids slept, in the dark, while wearing a headlamp. I'm terrible at putting things together, but the process was pretty smooth. When I was done, I only had about 2cm of clearance between the top of the lighting module and my ceiling! Seeing an actual Archivist in my house after seeing the pictures of evolving scanners here for years is a bit surreal. I'm also impressed by the brilliance and simplicity of its current design.

A few days ago, I was finally able to move my Archivist to a better location in our home, and start learning how to scan. I've done about 7 50-page children's books so far (all in color and with lots of pictures). I'm using a Raspberry Pi to control the cameras, via a MacBook Air connected to SpreadPi's web server. For now I have a USB keyboard on the floor and I tap the space bar with my toe, until I can get a foot pedal (I did the first few books tapping the laptop space bar by hand, but decided I'd rather have both hands available to work the scanner).

Now I'm struggling to decide how to post-process. I fiddled with ScanTailor a bit (an older version that was easy to get running on my iMac). But it doesn't seem suitable for the bulk scanning I'll be doing; it seems more geared toward doing fewer books but with better-quality results. Deskewing would be nice, but I really just need cropping. I don't have Windows, so can't use the BookCrop program I saw mentioned on the forums. For now, I just use the cropping feature in Spreads. Since I also shoot a photo of the book cover (to make it easier to browse for a book with the kids later), my workflow is:
1) open to the middle of the book, shoot a photo of both pages, and set up cropping for both pages (the same crop will be used for the whole book)
2) close the book to the cover (being careful not to shift it up-down in the cradle), then tell Spreads to "re-shoot" to get the photo of the cover
3) scan the rest of the book
4) Download the tar file, extract the raw images, and use a little shell script I wrote to rotate them (I have the autorotate plugin in my Spreads config file, but it's not doing anything -- I may post on the Spreads area of the forums if I can't figure out why it doesn't autorotate when I'm taking photos)
5) Use ImageMagick to convert to PDF, and decide how much to reduce the image size to balance image quality with file size, depending on the size of the book and the font size of the text. I basically just do a command like this:
convert *.jpg -resize 40% final-book.pdf
Rotating the pages for a 46-page book takes about 30 seconds on my 2-year-old iMac, and converting to PDF takes another 30 seconds. I only have a short time in the evening to scan after the kids are in bed, and I need to be doing many books per night to get through most of what I want to finish before our trip. So everything needs to be pretty quick.

My problem is, sometimes while doing the cropping and then re-shooting the cover in steps 1-2 above, Spreads gets "stuck" saying it's waiting for the device to finish capturing, or I start getting random errors when I try to take the next photo. I'm not sure what's going on, maybe something is timing out. Backing out of the workflow in the web browser, power-cycling the cameras, and re-entering clears things up. I thought maybe it'd be easier to just shoot the whole book and then crop during post-processing, but I need an easy/efficient way to do that cropping. The ImageMagick "trim" option could work, but I'd need a darker background under the book to autodetect what to crop. The cradle, even though painted black, reflects too much light. Maybe a piece of black cloth under the book? Another approach is to open an even and odd page in Gimp, use my mouse to select crop regions and note their sizes/locations, then pop back out to the command line and use ImageMagick's "crop". Once I have the crop region dimensions, it takes about 45 seconds to do the actual cropping with ImageMagick. I'll probably go this route, as doing the crop selection in Gimp is probably no slower (and less stressful) than fiddling with resolving the camera errors while trying to scan.

I'm really excited to be starting with this. I've got other documents I want to scan to preserve, such as my son's kindergarten "memory book" with photos of all the kids and teachers, a 100+ year old book from my great grandmother, etc. I have a friend whose apartment burned down a couple years ago, and she lost her high-school yearbooks and other irreplaceable things. I worry about things like that more than I should.

A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to what eventually became the current Archivist, and for the tons of other info on these forums! I wish I had more time to contribute more here myself, but give me about 17 years or so for things to quiet down at home for me first (my youngest child is less than 1 year old).
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Joined: 02 Aug 2015, 09:59
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Country: Norway

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by sveinemann »

I'm from Norway, and I would like to be able to scan my own books. We have come a long way the last few years in technology and I'm very uncertain about what scanner I should try to make. I would like to get one nice big camera that I can use for other stuff. I was wondering if any code ever was written for dewarping images using the green lasers? That would be the best solution I think. It's so much information on here I haven't look at yet. I don't know what's best. I have been shipping my books to England for a while now for destructive scanning. It's expensive and wrong, there I'm looking into building my own rig of sorts. Just wanted to say hello and make some noise.
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
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Country: United States of America

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by duerig »

sveinemann, welcome! If you are interested in laser scanning, see these threads: ... =17&t=3066 ... =17&t=3079

By the end of those threads, you can see that the software for laser dewarping is looking pretty good. Since then, I've been working on actually developing a design for a scanner rig to work with the software. I am pretty close, but there are a number of issues that I am still nailing down.

If you want to get a nice camera, the Nikon J series looks very promising for book scanning. I am still working on getting my hands on one to try it myself.

The easiest scanner to build yourself is probably the hardware store scanner. See: ... ?f=1&t=333
But there is also the David Landin scanner which is made mostly of PVC pipe. See: ... =14&t=2914
The Archivist is harder to put together yourself, but if you want to try it, I'm happy to answer any questions either here or in email.

Best of luck!

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Joined: 10 Aug 2015, 00:44
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Country: Usa

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by Daregone »


My name is Jason and I have been lurking on this forum for a while - though no so much until just recently. The effort put forth here has always impressed me and I look forward to becoming a part of the community

As I mentioned, I lurked for a long time but sort of drifted away for a while. Upon returning, I was surprised to the see that Daniel had retired from the project (though I think it is understandable).

As for me, I finally decided to go ahead and jump in and make an Archivist. I am the head of Historic European Martial Arts club and have been wanting to digitize a library our club has been accumulating for some time. These books tend to be oversized, expensive and not currently available in digital form. So, the Archivist should fit the need very well!

About two years ago, I built a large CNC router, so I will be cutting the plywood components on that. I have ordered two a2500 canons (ebay deals). I have LED lights, the fixtures and flange bearings on the way. Already have a Raspberry Pi. I plan to pick up glass soon. Just about the only thing I am having trouble with are the lenticular lenses to disburse the light.

Thank you for letting come on board!
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Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 15:15
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Number of books owned: 200
Country: India

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by shankyb0y »

Hi folks,

I'm Shashank from India.

idea of scanning old photographs & books in my house has been on my mind lately.
excited to see a thriving community around this

first attempt at it today: Holy book stand, S95, sheet of glass
IMG_5405.JPG (115.34 KiB) Viewed 16919 times
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