Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Scanning in the British Library

Built a scanner? Started to build a scanner? Record your progress here. Doesn't need to be a whole scanner - triggers and other parts are fine. Commercial scanners are fine too.
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Crispy
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Scanning in the British Library

Post by Crispy » 21 Oct 2015, 06:44

I'm going to be visiting the British Library in Yorkshire this weekend, and I'd like to be able to copy excerpts from a book in the reading room. Unlike in London, no overhead book scanners are available, and photocopying the book at 25p a page is a bit expensive.

I am allowed to take my own camera in to photograph the pages, but no tripods are allowed! I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how I might be able to photograph pages suitable for output to .pdf under these (very trying) circumstances?

dpc
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by dpc » 23 Oct 2015, 12:00

I would imagine that any sort of scanner you build would also be outlawed if there were a camera attached to it. If you're only scanning a handful of pages and not entire books you could use a handheld camera I suppose. You'd want something to keep the pages flat though.

I like this scanner design for its simplicity. It's not something that you'd want to use to scan a lot of pages but it could be redesigned to fold flat and be quite portable. You could make something similar where, instead of being attached to the scanner, the camera would sit on a table pointed at a movable framework holding a vertical plane of glass. You're at the mercy of whatever ambient light is available unless you're going to bring a light source.

cday
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by cday » 23 Oct 2015, 16:36

Crispy wrote:I'm going to be visiting the British Library in Yorkshire this weekend, and I'd like to be able to copy excerpts from a book in the reading room...

I am allowed to take my own camera in to photograph the pages, but no tripods are allowed!
If the rule specifically refers to tripods, you might be able to get away with using something with four legs, at least the first time!!
dpc wrote:I would imagine that any sort of scanner you build would also be outlawed if there were a camera attached to it. If you're only scanning a handful of pages and not entire books you could use a handheld camera I suppose. You'd want something to keep the pages flat though.

I like this scanner design for its simplicity. It's not something that you'd want to use to scan a lot of pages but it could be redesigned to fold flat and be quite portable. You could make something similar where, instead of being attached to the scanner, the camera would sit on a table pointed at a movable framework holding a vertical plane of glass. You're at the mercy of whatever ambient light is available unless you're going to bring a light source.
Yes, even a loose piece of (preferably non-reflective) glass to flatten the pages should help and be inconspicuous...

Or, possibly a simple and inconspicuous frame attached to the camera with some lasers, to assist in aligning the hand-held camera accurately??

But you've been already now?

victoriaaustralia
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by victoriaaustralia » 04 Sep 2016, 07:45

Monson's Sticks is a very simple design for just such a purpose
http://diybookscanner.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=422
Freeware Windows workflow: 40Mb 400pg OCR'd A4 book pdfs
http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... =19&t=2835

peterZ
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by peterZ » 05 Sep 2016, 22:19

http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/inrrooms/stp/c ... ancras.pdf

Consider, librarians obviously concerned with potential damage to items and distracting other library users etc
Tripods probably banned because they think they will get in peoples way ... etc

L.Willms
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by L.Willms » 05 Oct 2016, 10:28

Crispy wrote:I'm going to be visiting the British Library in Yorkshire
[...]
I am allowed to take my own camera in to photograph the pages, but no tripods are allowed!
There are tripods and tripods. Those making this rule probably thought of the "real" tripod which are high enough so that the photographer can use the mounted camera while standing comfortably.

But there are also table top tripods, which would not obstruct people walking along the aisles between the reading tables.

I have a Giotto QU-200, which measures 24 cm when folded and between 27 and 37 cm when in operation. It also has a ball head which allows the tripod to stand and the camera looking downwards. I used this in the German National Library here in Frankfurt. I was placing two feet of the tripod on the edge of the book or in the gutter, and lifted the book somewhat so that the camera would point more or less vertically on the book page. Next time I will take some more books from the shelves and use them as support.

Get such a thing or possibly a "gorilla" tripod, and ask the personel if you may use that.

You might also bring a sheet of acrylic glass to flatten the page. If they allow it...

L.Willms
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by L.Willms » 05 Oct 2016, 14:36

L.Willms wrote: But there are also table top tripods, which would not obstruct people walking along the aisles between the reading tables.

I have a Giotto QU-200, which measures 24 cm when folded and between 27 and 37 cm when in operation. It also has a ball head which allows the tripod to stand and the camera looking downwards.
Here at "the-gadgeteer" you can find a review of a series of mini-tripods (date 2004, so many would have been vanished from the market). The author considers the Giotto the best

L.Willms
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by L.Willms » 05 Oct 2016, 18:30

Crispy wrote:photocopying the book at 25p a page is a bit expensive.
Yeah. At the German National Library (DNB - Deutsche Nationalbibliothek) here in Frankfurt they charge 10 cents (of an Euro) per A4 black-and-white (rather greyscale) copy, 20 cents for A3 and 50 cents for an A4 color copy. Although the copiers in use are technically capable of writing the copy on an USB stick, that functionality is disabled. But they offer a scan service with the results burned on CD-ROM or DVD. An example of such a scan is here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... n-1890.png

The DNB allows fotographing, filming and scanning with the user's own equipment, but without additional light source or flash, and of course, without disturbing the other readers, and treating the books and other media with utmost care.

The university library here has new photocopiers which can also scan to USB. That costs just 2 cents per scan.

L.Willms
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Re: Scanning in the British Library

Post by L.Willms » 06 Oct 2016, 03:16

There also copy stands -- with four feet, thus no tripod which has three...

Look here at en.wikipedia.org: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copy_stand

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