Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Article: Building an Online Library, One Volume at a Time

I saw mention of this article in a German blog, but couldn't get at the original article (stopped by the subscriber screen). Thanks to digitizationblog for pointing us to the URL for the free article available at WSJ.com. Here we get a peek inside the digitization work occurring at the University of Toronto and see pictures of the scanner they are using to digitize books. The scanner being used requires human intervention and is not a robotic machine.

Now we know from talking to people at Kirtas and comments posted in this blog that the University of Toronto was using a Kirtas scanner, yet this does not look like a Kirtas scanner. So who's scanners are these? And what happened to the Kirtas scanners? We do know from the article that these scanners cost $20,000 to $40,000 each, which is much less than a Kirtas scanner. Is this one of the scanners that Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive are developing? If anyone has answers, I hope you'll let me know.

BTW here is a good quote from the WSJ article:
Mr. Kahle estimates it costs about 10 cents a page to get a book online, taking into account equipment, labor and the cost of hosting the pages on the Internet Archive's Web servers.

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