A Big Deal for Small Archives - A Consumer Grade Book Scanner

Small archives, such as one finds at historic houses, have generally run into a major obstacle in any plans they have for digitizing their collections: they have had to rely on slow flat-bed scanners, which are very poorly suited to digitizing bound materials.

The only option other than slow, painstaking scanning has been to find an external vendor. In practical terms, this has generally meant that bound materials don't get digitized.

It would appear that with the e-book revolution that is bearing down on us, there is now a market for a device that will digitize your books in the same way that, a few years ago, USB turntables became an affordable option for digitizing your music.

I have no idea if the "ION Booksaver" is a worthwhile device, as I have not tried it. I do however want to mark the arrival of "consumer grade" book digitization and consider what it can mean for small, volunteer driven archives which often have a certain amount of free labor, but very little money. This is probably not the last such device we shall see, and as the demand for e-readers increases, we will probably see this technology become better and even more affordable.