digital archive

Large Format Scanners For Document Imaging

The market for large-format flatbed scanners is shrinking, so products turn over slowly and development is far behind my expectations. That said, the Epson GT-1500 doesn’t look like a bad choice for tight budgets. It has a relatively low maximum resolution of only 600DPI, but has the highest claimed scan speed of 30 seconds at 300DPI. Following that is the Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL, which has a much higher maximum resolution, but much slower scan speed (even at the same resolution as the Epson). The scanner sets itself apart, however, with noise-reduction technology that has made it the darling of some art archivists.

Both of these scanners are around $1,200, but neither of them is really suited to doing much volume.

Looking elsewhere, I found the Konica Minolta PS5000C, a planetary book scanner that returns scans in less than 10 seconds. Price is under $12,000 — not cheap, but low relative to other planetary scanners I’ve seen. Also from Konica MInolta is the MS6000 MK II microform scanner, and a lusty thought crosses my mind: get rid of the old microform printers our libraries have and go all-digital.

About SHERPA And Their Advice To Digital Libraries…

I mentioned SHERPA a while ago:

SHERPA is a large consortial UK project that’s attempting to build an academic archive/repository for 20 institutions, including the British Library and Cambridge University. [link added]

I bring this up again now because they’ve got some advice for people on the subject of digital archives. They recommend EPrints, an open source project developed and maintained by the University of Southampton. Second to that, or for those interested in archiving a broader variety of object types, they suggest MIT’s DSpace.