[vcf-midatlantic] An idea for preservation and a proposal for the future of the VCF's library of written media.

Ethan O'Toole telmnstr at 757.org
Fri May 13 14:47:26 UTC 2022

> but there are also scanners that exist which can do this job well without
> it being destructive to the books. The issue of course is that these
> scanners are by no means cheap for the average small scale user wanting to

I had gotten a bunch of SCUBA diving magazines donated to me by someone 
for the purpose of scanning. Maybe 200 pounds of them. And while they had 
some decent value on the market to collectors, there was a time tradeoff. 
I looked at those double camera book imaging setups, but a person has to 
flip every page. Vacuum assisted stuff, aluminum t-slot extrusion is sexy. 
But at last, the fastest way to accomplish the task at the best price 
(free) was to borrow friends duplex page scanner from Brother.

So I cut off all the bindings. It saved so much time, it was worth it. And 
now the internet at large gets a high res copy of the magazines. The data 
is preserved as long as the copies on the internet stay around, which who 
knows how long that will be. Spreading the data collection to more people 
helps. Archive.org, torrents, mirrors, etc.

ALSO, since it's so time intensive.... I think the way to really 
accomplish large scanning missions is have volunteers do it from home and 
not go to some place to do it. To make the most of ones time it's best to 

My friend let me borrow his sexy little Brother scanning machine that 
could do full duplex. I used a couple of computers (thanks to another VCF 
member!) to handle the OCR side of the software, so I could keep the 
network attached scanner as busy as possible when I had time. I would 
rotate through the computers triggering a scan, and they would scan and 
process it. I could keep 4 computers busy usually given how long it took 
for the OCR process. Also it allowed me to scan 4, then do the next four 
the next time I passed by the setup. Black and white old computer docs 
would be WAY easier and faster than this full color stuff I was doing.

It's best if you can do some other task while scanning, so all your time 
isn't focused on it. Chop the bindings, stack the goods. Then when you 
come by drop in another batch, click go. So you can work on something else 
while feeding all this through. So your time isn't stuck on that one task, 
unless you have a lot of time. Work from homers could possible just feed 
stacks all day while doing other tasks, etc.

It took weeks and weeks to scan through 4 banker boxes stuffed with 

I sold the watch ads and other bits to pay for the chopper which ran about 


Used copy machines might be able to do duplex scanning way faster, but 
unsure of the software support.

I used Abbyy Finereader 11 for the OCR. Pack in for the Brother, works 
with Epson software.

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