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digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 14 Jan 2019, 19:53
by jerwin
I've been wanting to digitize my collection of antique french pattern magazines from the 1890s. Each page is 280mm x 385mm, so they will not fit on an ordinary letter sized flat bed scanner. Several issues come with tissue patterns.

Some runs are loose, and other runs come bound in large books.

I have recently acquired a SnapScan SV600 scanner which I would like to use for this project. If I orientate the bound issue sideways, The camera is able to capture the full page image. However, this the result is distorted, as some of the text curves into the gutter.
On a smaller book, the SV600 can process this gutter out, producing a flattened double page spread.

However, the scansnap software does not seam to be able to flatten out a single large page.

Is there a software solution?

Re: digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 15 Jan 2019, 04:05
by cday
It might be helpful if you could post an example page, or better two or three pages showing increasing amounts of distortion...

Re: digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 15 Jan 2019, 18:48
by jerwin
For a small book (which is already well scanned, and shelved in many an electronic archive, but it's the only out of copyrigt book I could find at such short notice).

As photographed:
Screen Shot 150.jpg
As processed
Screen Shot 151.jpg
The problem is that this scanning software so far as I'm aware, can't flatten pages oriented cross ways:
Screen Shot 152.jpg
which appears to be the only way of getting such a large page to fit.

I just got this scanner, and I'm still trying to figure out how to best adopt it to my project.

(The SV600's mat hasn't yet arrived, that's why I'm using it on a less than pristine surface.)

Re: digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 16 Jan 2019, 05:28
by cday
Are you able to image a full page into the gutter, and preferably post the file output from ScanSnap so that any possible alternative software dewarping solution can be tested to best effect?

If you are unable to capture full pages satisfactorily, a better solution might be to use a classic book scanner design that lowers a v-platen into the opened book, both flattening the pages and allowing capture into the gutter, depending on the binding. That should largely eliminate the need for dewarping and enable standard software to be used for the image processing.

But as your magazine pages are oversize, the many designs posted on the forum would generally have to be scaled up to an extent. The most promising solution might be to take inspiration from a modified David Landin design that was successfully used to scan large newspaper pages, as described in this long thread Oversized davidlandin Model. Something similar for your page size could probably be implemented using standard plastic tubes, or using timber.

The original David Landin design was described in this post A new scanner design using plastic tubing which may be a better place to start.

Re: digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 16 Jan 2019, 10:33
by BillGill
Could you use a piece of glass or plastic to flatten the page you are scanning? It would add a small bit of effort to the scan, but it might be worth the extra effort, because you might not need any extra software to flatten the image. With older books you would need to be careful not to damage the book. Off the top of my head the biggest problem might be light glaring off of the glass.


Re: digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 16 Jan 2019, 14:54
by jerwin
I do have a piece of acryllic that I can use to flatten the pages.. Is there such a thing as an anti glare coating that I could apply?

Re: digitizing antique magazines

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 18:25
by cday
jerwin wrote:
16 Jan 2019, 14:54
I do have a piece of acrylic that I can use to flatten the pages.. Is there such a thing as an anti glare coating that I could apply?

I'm not immediately aware of anything suitable but there are a variety of anti-reflective glass sheets available, although their use may at least slightly reduce the sharpness of the text below.

The many self-build designs described on the forum normally use standard acrylic sheet, and are designed with careful attention to the position of the light source(s) to minimise reflections. That is not something you can control with the ScanSnap, of course, so all you can do is check if the result is satisfactory.