Book Scanning

We scan books or any size, shape, style and condition, including bound and unbound books, rare and fragile books, school and university text books, magazines, manuscripts, manuals, journals, etc. We also convert paper books to e-Books. With over 30 years of experience in scanning, indexing and archiving massive volumes of documents (including highly confidential ones), we know how to preserve and take care of your priceless reading assets. Our book scanning services are delivered through highly qualified, security-cleared personnel that are dedicated to quality book scanning. We work with schools, universities, libraries, museums, publishing houses, writers, archivists and collectors. We can scan a wide range of book types, including (but not limited to):

  • Bound & unbound books
  • Rare & fragile books
  • School & university text books
  • Newspapers & magazines
  • Bound volumes of old newspapers
  • Bound photo albums
  • Journals & diaries
  • Comic books & magazines
  • Manuals
  • Laboratory notebooks
  • Engineering notebooks
  • Yearbooks
  • Company binders
  • Reports & brochures
  • Log books & map books
  • Research papers, theses, dissertations
Superior Equipment & Technology

We have invested in the latest book scanning, digitization and conversion technology. Using a combination of high-end German book scanners coupled with cutting-edge OCR, latest e-Book conversion applications and highly advanced image enhancement software, we deliver highest quality and accuracy in the most cost effective way possible. Our scanners are extremely gentle even on the most valuable and fragile books. In addition, we use our own proprietary technology to control, streamline and automate all our scanning operations, from A to Z – WizAmin. It was developed entirely in-house by our expert personnel. Its main purpose is to reduce human intervention to an absolute minimum and remove the risk of human error. This highly sophisticated, one-of-a-kind technology offers complete traceability and provides full real-time reporting functionality.

Scanning Methods

We can scan your books in two ways, depending on book type, your requirements, preferred timeline and budget.

Non-destructive Scanning

The non-destructive method leaves the books completely intact. Also known as In-tact digitization, it involves very careful handling of every book, including turning the pages one by one by hand and even using powder-free gloves whenever necessary. This method is used most commonly by libraries, universities, collectors and museums when the books themselves have value or when they are rare. We have a specialist team who are highly experienced and dedicated to scanning bound volumes. These operators are trained in fragile material handling to ensure precious collections are protected and handled in the correct manner throughout the scanning process. Once scanned and digitized, the books themselves are returned to you intact.

Destructive Scanning

The destructive method is most appropriate when your main concern is preserving the information that the book contains, as opposed to the book itself. This involves carefully removing the binding of the book and using a professional guillotine machine, slicing the glued/sown area by around 5mm, then freeing up the pages from any binding and feeding these pages through a high-resolution book scanner. Scanned page is shredded. This is a very cost-effective way of archiving, as well as conserving space. For example, a university may wish to make information available to its students without devoting valuable space to multiple copies of texts, theses, and other information that has no inherent physical value, but a great deal of value in terms of information.

Scanning of Rare, Fragile and Valuable Books

Your special collections deserve special treatment. Creating archival-quality digital images from your books is not a matter of guesswork. At Micrographics Data, we do not believe in one-size-fits-all approach in general and especially when it comes to your precious books. We understand very well the challenges and intricacies of scanning rare, fragile and unique original items. To provide you with a complete solution, we go beyond simple image capture. We collaborate with you to craft a project plan that meets the specific requirements of your materials, your policies, your timeframe and your budget. With procedures and guidelines in place, we have the whole process down to a science.

We place the requirements around the condition of the books, while the speed at which we process them can be reduced to make sure the books remain in the same condition they came to us. We treat all books we scan with the greatest of respect but do understand that there will always be a few cases that need special attention. We use only our most experienced book scanning operators to complete this type of work and ensure they always wear powder- free gloves to protect the pages and print of your books.

Our preservation facility is designed with your special collections in mind. An environmentally controlled, secure storage area ensures that your materials are safely kept in a proper environment while remaining easily accessible for our specialist staff. Every single action that our staff performs in relation to your books is tracked in our SRP system from the moment we pick up your precious materials to the moment they are safely back in your hands. Our Customer Portal offers a real-time view into every step of the scanning process.

Book Scanning Process

A set of clearly defined procedures governs every single step of the book scanning process: Pick-up of your books, Transport & Intake at our facilities, Preparation, Scanning, Indexing, Quality Control, Metadata & Image Delivery. Key steps include: 

Quality Control & Image Enhancement

Our scanners are extremely gentle even on the most valuable and fragile books. They were developed in close collaboration with experienced users and have been specially designed to capture images from bound volumes facing up, which completely eliminates the need to unbind them (very important, especially if you need to scan materials of historical or cultural value). In addition, our scanning equipment meets the high standard of book restorers i.e. that old and historically valuable books should be scanned with a maximum opening angle of 90º, as opposed to common 180º, 140º or 120º . This 90º V-cradle design minimizes or eliminates curvature imparted on the page images during book scanning due to tight bindings while respecting the integrity of the materials. A human operator is in control of 100% of the captures created using this system, which means that it is safe for fragile, oversized, and otherwise difficult to digitize works.

Other quality control features include: scanner hoods to prevent glare, control of the immediate environment to maintain colour neutrality, low exposure to light, no UV/IR radiation, automatic positioning of the book, automatic opening of the glass plate and automatic lowering of the book support plates after scanning, automatic start of scan, electronically controlled book pressure (continuously adjustable in 5 steps for protection of the documents), true colour processing, up to 600 dpi resolution, etc.

Finally, our employees are professionally trained in all their work.

Indexing

We are prepared to meet your indexing requirements from start to finish. We can provide structural, technical, administrative, as well as preservation metadata and format it just the way you want it (as simple or as elaborate as you require). We can index your materials by matching to any existing databases, by manual keying, or other methods. Items with consistent, printed text can be processed for OCR (e.g. for text searchable PDF files), newspapers and other serials can be segmented at article level, bound or grouped materials can be combined into multi-page files or collections, etc. We will also prepare images and index information for import into your back-end databases or document management software.

Metadata & Image Delivery

Delivery of images and metadata can be done via a Direct File Transfer method (VPN) or External Storage Device method (e.g. encrypted Hard Disk, USB sticks, etc.). You decide which option suits you best. During scanning, all scanned images and metadata are stored directly in the database.

Image & Metadata File Formats

Here are just a few examples of the possible formats:

  • PDF & PDF/A
  • Image-only or searchable OCR with invisible text under the image
  • eBook format ePub or Kindle
  • JPEG & JPEG2000
  • Uncompressed lossless 8-bit TIFF
  • TIFF Group IV bitonal
  • Structural metadata XML file or CSV file
Other Scanning Options

Here are a few additional options available to you: 

  • True colour processing: colour, grayscale, black-and-white
  • Bound book thickness: up to 150mm
  • Resolution: up to 600 dpi
Return, Storage, Destruction

What would you like us to do with your books once scanned?

  • Return your books to you in their original condition (non-destructive scanning)
  • Store your books in our secure preservation facility (long term)
  • Securely destroy your books & provide you with a destruction certificate (destructive scanning)

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