document imaging

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.

Digital Library Systems Group Shows Wares

I was in Cambridge today attending the Digital Library Systems Group presentation on their fancy scanners and imaging workflow software. We have no digital collections program going yet, but we’re part of a university system plan to acquire either Ex Libris’s Digitool or ENCompass for Digital Collections (sample sites). But getting the collection management software just creates another problem: we don’t have any imaging resources to use to fill the new digital archive.

It’s not an area that I have much experience in, so all I can really say is it might be a good way to spend $75,000.