The challenge of digitizing printed books - Book Scanning

Books are treasure troves of knowledge. As we have moved into the digital age, reading online has become the norm. This leaves a huge number of pre digital age books in libraries, but especially personal book collections, unavailable to a larger audience. Digitizing books also provides many means to analyse and produce very useful metadata.

However book scanners are expensive. Hence a DIY scanner would be ideal.

We can simultaneously learn a whole lot about imagers, imaging software, lighting and colours, rendition, mechanics etc.

We also have plenty of prior art to fallback upon and adapt to our local environments and needs.

A very good site is


Thanks for initiating this topic. I think it becomes a wonderful project for the tinkering participants. Would you like to initiate writing about the project, what does it take to complete, etc.

Let us do this. There are a number of ancient libraries in India which store books (most of which are completely out of print) that need a scanner to digitize. The scanners that we can produce can be used for this kind of projects.

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Will be drawing up a specs list, which will also become the challenge list.