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My projects

Posted: 29 Dec 2009, 11:44
by wheel
Hey,

A friend in my local linux user's group sent me a link to this site - and I'm loving it! Thanks for this resource.

I'm a former bookstore owner and collect inexpensive antique books that have interesting content (or at least, content that I find interesting) more so than 'valuable'. Since I do quite a bit of work online, I eventually got around to digitizing some of my books so I could put them online for others (at least the ones that are out of copyright - I don't put online anything current).

I've been using one of those $300 flatbed book scanners, and since this is more a hobby than a business, haven't sprung $15K for a plenary scanner. Now that I've found this site, there's some hope I may be able to build something functional that's both faster and less damaging to the books than a flatbed. That's good because I just bought 50,000 pages of antique legal books that need to be scanned :).

In any event, here's one of my older sites where I put up some old life insurance books: www.americanterm.com . That was my first crack at digitizing, my friend now runs that site. I've got somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2k-5K of Canadian life/health/dental insurance books (mortality tables from the 1800's, tales of insurance fraud, etc) that I'm hoping to put online in the next month or two as well. As I noted, you'll find that none of the books are valuable in themselves, I'm more interested in the content as snapshots of daily life in the niche.

The americanterm project, I did most of that by hand. I've since moved on and had a programmer write a program that merges OCR'ed pages with a control spreadsheet and injects entire books into a wordpress site. So 2010 should be a high digitization year for me - and it'll go even faster if I can build a scanner like you folks have!

Re: My projects

Posted: 29 Dec 2009, 14:10
by daniel_reetz
These books are really fantastic! Have you thought about sharing your work with the Hathi trust or with Archive.org, to reach a wider audience?