Since I don’t have ten or fifteen grand sitting around, but I have about three shelf feet of magazines that I want to scan, I’m sending some of my more design oriented students out there to build us an overhead scanner. And it isn’t as tough as it may seem, judging by the DIY Book Scanning Forum.
My periodical studies capstone class needs to scan lots of magazines for The Virtual Newsstand site; if you’ve every tried to scan an old magazine, it quickly becomes clear that the normal flatbed scan is slow, unwieldy, too small, and more often than not damages the magazine. And the point and shoot digital camera and tripod is little better — all sorts of issues arise, like light source and keeping the pages open. The DIY Book Scanning Forum offers schematics, open source software for synching cameras, suggestions for light settings… anything for turning some plywood or pipes, milk crate and paperbox into a fully functional (relatively) high-volume book scanner.
I’ll let you know how our project comes along…
–David M. Earle