Category Archives: Case Studies

Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln - Neubau Außenansicht

Securing the holdings of the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne

the holdings of the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne

The Historical Archive of the City of Cologne  ranks amomng the most important and largest municipal archives in Europe, distinguished by the large number of significant individual holdings, their continuity and the exceptionally high density of records.

The archive forms the written “Cologne city memory”. It stores a large number of documents from the history of the city of Cologne as well as the history of the Rhineland spanning a period over 1000 years making them accessible to its users.


Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln - Neubau Außenansicht

The Historical Archive of the City of Cologne in numbers

shelf space





Project background

On March 3, 2009, faulty work during the construction of a subway tunnel led to the catastrophic collapse of the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne. In the process, the approximately 30 shelf kilometers of archival materials stored there were damaged, most of them suffering cracks to the point of fragmentation, buckling, compression, and damage caused by groundwater.

After the salvage phase was completed in 2011, during which about 95 percent of the buried archive material was recovered, the newly established Restoration and Digitization Center (RDZ) began sifting, restoring, and digitizing the holdings, a process that lasted until 2021.

During this phase, the search was on for systems that could scan the fragile holdings as gentle as possible. Due to the enormous amount of material to be handled and the workload for the staff, these also had to be as efficient as they were user-friendly.

The decision was made in favor of the first models in the book2net Flash and book2net Profi series, which have then been used since the end of 2011 at the latest. Thanks to the high depth of field of the book2net systems, not only files but also register volumes with thick pages can be scanned easily without readjustment.

Historical Archive of the City of Cologne, aerial view of the collapse site, March 4, 2009
©City of Cologne/Photo: Aerial view of the collapse site, March 4, 2009.
Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln. zerstörte Siegel am Verbundbrief.
©City of Cologne/Photo: Stefanie Behrendt. Destroyed seal on the Verbundbrief
©Rheinisches Bildarchiv/Photo: Anna C. Wagner. Roughly recorded archive material in dry containers, March 13, 2009.
©Rheinisches Bildarchiv/Photo: Anna C. Wagner. Roughly recorded archive material in dry containers, March 13, 2009.
©Rheinisches Bildarchiv/Erfassungszentrum 13.03.2009 Restorers and students from Cologne and Bern during the rough sorting and cleaning of the archival materials.
©Stadt Köln Mitarbeiter des RDZ beim Scannen von Archivgut am book2net Profi
©City of Cologne. Employees of the RDZ scanning archive material on book2net Profi and book2net Flash scanners.
Mitarbeiter des Historischen Archivs Köln an der book2net Hornet
©City of Cologne/Historical Archive. Archive staff scanning archive material with the book2net Hornet A0.
Einblick in das Magazin des Neubaus des Historischen Archivs der Stadt Köln am Eifelwall
©Rheinisches Bildarchiv/Photo: Michael Albers. Insight into the magazine of the new building at Eifelwall, room documentation, 21.08.2012

book2net action

After the first book2net book scanners had been in use at the digitization center for 10 years, the old book2net Profi and Flash systems were replaced with updated models in the course of setting up the new building, which opened in September 2021. In addition, another A0 system was purchased.

The Historical Archives now has two book2net Profi A2 book scanners, and one each of book2net Flash A1 and book2net Hornet A0 book scanners with dual illumination units.

The scanners can be conveniently triggered by mouse click as well as on the device itself or by foot pedal. The live video preview allows you to check the scan area without having to trigger a scan first.

systems used

Profi A2 Flash A1 Hornet A0


Since 2010, well over 3 million digitized files have been created in the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne. These include both user scans of modern files and high-resolution scans of documents, photos, negatives, manuscripts and large formats (posters, plans and documents). Digitization is done on a project-by-project basis and in response to user requests. It enables the archival documents to be used without having to present the original and opens up new global user groups by publishing them in the Digital Historical Archive.

The book2net team is proud to have been making an important contribution to the preservation and indexing of these culturally and historically significant collections for a decade now.


Cobra A2 at the Fondation Martin Bodmer

Cobra A2
V-shape book scanner
at the Fondation
Martin Bodmer

The Fondation Martin Bodmer was founded in 1971 by the private scholar Martin Bodmer (1899-1971). It manages and expands the unique collection of literature assembled by Bodmer during his lifetime, which includes precious manuscripts, books and documents as well as paintings, sculptures, reliefs and coins.

Since 1951, the collection has been housed in a purpose-built building in Cologny near Geneva. The part that is open to the public as a museum has been housed in an extension designed by Mario Botta since 2003. The exhibition shows a unique range of written testimonies from three millennia. Due to its significant holdings, the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana has been a UNESCO World Documentary Heritage Site since 2015.

“Working with this machine is a real pleasure because it is very easy to use and therefore do not demand large technical skills.”

Jérôme David
Director of Bodmer Lab

The Bodmer Library in numbers




Project background

In 2014, the Bodmer Lab team, led by Professor Jérôme David, began digitizing the holdings of the Bibliotheca Bodmeriana. The Bodmer Lab emerged as a research and digitization project from the partnership between the Faculty of Arts of the University of Geneva and the Martin Bodmer Foundation.

For this extensive project, a book scanner was sought that met the high requirements for gentle and efficient digitization of the precious holdings. The Bodmer Lab team decided on the book2net Cobra A2 V scanner with semirobotics:

“Scanning with the Cobra machine is comfortable and user-friendly and the safety of our precious books is assured because of the stable industrial components. The scanning machine is designed to avoid damage on our precious books and it is really important to us to conserve them as best as we can.

What we also appreciate is the possisbility to digitize books of various formats which is a good thing for us because the Fondation Martin Bodmer has a wide range of rare books of different sizes.

Working with this scanner also allows us to save time because its dual sensors photograph two pages simultaneously.”

book2net Action

When the Cobra A2 was installed in 2015, intensive training for the staff was carried out at the same time. This way, the library does not have to rely on the help of outside specialists to carry out projects with our scanner. In addition, our service team took over the annual maintenance of the scanner, guaranteeing the smooth running of the project for years to come.


Already in the first year, over 400 publications were digitized with our Cobra A2. The digitization of the holdings continues on an ongoing basis. The digitized material is available to the public online via the Bodmer Lab website.

The medieval manuscripts are also available via the Swiss manuscript portal e-codices.

See Cobra

Further Case Studies

Cooperation with the National Library of Uzbekistan

with the National Library of Uzbekistan


The State Library of the Republic of Uzbekistan, founded in 1870 as the Tashkent Public Library, is Uzbekistan’s legal deposit library. In 1920, the then “State Public Library of Uzbekistan” became the legal deposit for Turkestan publications. In 1947 it was renamed Ali-Shir Nava’i Library after the Uzbek poet. On April 12, 2002 it was renamed the National Library of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Außenansicht Nationalbibliothek Usbekistan

The National Library in numbers


major reading halls

visitors per year

Project background

Since 2016, Uzbekistan has been pursuing a comprehensive digitization strategy in the area of its administration and public services under President Mirziyoyev. This was significantly supported by LG Electronics, which carried out the tenders for major projects on behalf of the Uzbek government.

The development of the digital competencies of the National Library is an essential part of this process, in the course of which 60 new jobs were created. With regard to the necessary equipment, book2net met and even exceeded all requirements given in the corresponding tender and won the bit. In the summer of 2018, the first shipment of more than 30 book scanners arrived in Tashkent, where the devices were installed by our team. In 2019, new need for devices for the National Library branch offices around the country arose. Once again, book2net was able to convince, securing a shipment of 25 new book scanners to the country.

The National Library intends to digitize its entire stock of books, newspapers and photographs, making them accessible to the Uzbek public via their website. Thus, important cultural heritage from Uzbek history is preserved and made accessible to the local and rural communities all over the country.

book2net Flashs at the National Library of Uzebkistan
book2net Flashs in action
book2net Cobra V-shape scanner at the National Library of Uzbekistan
book2net Cobra V-shape scanner in operation
book2net Profi A2 book scanner with Makrolon plate
Fast and easy scanning with the book2net Profi with Makrolon pressure plate

book2net Action

With both customized and standard solutions, book2net managed to fulfill all demands and could effectively contribute to the country’s digitization process. In 2018 and 2019, 60 of our proven systems, including the X71 camera, the large-format scanners Hornet A0 and Flash A1, the Cobra V-shape system and the self-service scanners Public A2 and Spirit A3, were delivered to Tashkent and several other locations all over the country. All devices were installed by our technicians and the local staff was trained extensively to assure high-quality digitization.

systems used

X71 Camera Hornet A0 Flash A1 Cobra Profi A2 Spirit A3


The book2net team is proud to have made an important contribution to the digitization of Uzbekistan’s literary heritage that will now be available to a broad public as well as for further scientific research.

Watch the use of our equipment in the digitization center of the National Library in the video:


The valuable rare books and manuscripts can be accessed as full-text versions via a dedicated database:

see database

More Case Studies

Hybrid Scanning Systems – Federal Archives

Hybrid Scanning Systems
at the Federal Archives

The Federal Archives are a higher federal authority of the Federal Republic of Germany subordinate to the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) with a total of 22 locations. They have the legal mandate to permanently secure the archive material of the Federal Government and to make it usable.

These are documents such as files, maps, pictures, posters, films and sound recordings in analog and digital form. These documents originate predominantly from the central administrations of the German states since 1867 and from the estates of important persons.

The Federal Archive are one of Germany’s most important cultural institutions and hold, among other things, 540 linear kilometers of documents, 15 million images and 1 million film reels. Starting in 2024, 1% of the holdings will be digitized each year.

The Federal Archives in Numbers



shelf space

digital copies p.a.

Project background

In order to facilitate access to the files at the various locations in the long term, personal file inspection on site is gradually being supplemented by digital provision of the documents. Digitization on demand is carried out exclusively in the internal workshops of the Federal Archives. The digitized fonds can be accessed via the website of the Federal Archives.

In the full expansion stage, an internal digitization capacity of 20 million pages per year is planned. By the end of 2021, approximately 75 million pages have already been digitized.

To carry out this ambitious project, it was therefore necessary to increase the capacity of the digitization workshop and expand the pool of equipment.

book2net action

Digitizing large quantities of sometimes fragile materials is a particular challenge for the Federal Archives. Therefore, a system solution had to be found that scans in a particularly gentle manner as well as delivers high productivity.

For this reason, the Federal Archives opted for book2net hybrid scanning systems from MICROBOX. These systems consist of a document feeder scanner specially developed for archiving purposes and a planetary archive scanner, which are operated by joint scanning software. Hence, it is possible to switch between the devices at any time while the system is in operation. This makes it easy to digitize different formats and paper qualities within a single file in a single operation. Currently, this process is mainly used for index cards and files after 1945.

The variable setting options, for example for the feed speed, offer excellent possibilities for digitizing even very heterogeneous files quickly and efficiently. The conformity to METAMORFOZRE, FDAGI and ISO 19264-1 standards guarantees high and consistent image quality.


Since the beginning of 2022, 20 of our hybrid scanning systems and 6 planetary archive scanners have been in use at the Federal Archives. Further installations will be added in the course of the project in the following years.

Hybrid Scanning System


A1 Reprographic Studio at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum

A1 Reprographic Studio at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum Frankfurt/M

The Senckenberg – Leibniz Institution for Biodiversity and Earth System Research (SGN) was founded in 1817. The SGN operates seven research institutes and three natural history museums. Today, with around 850 employees, the SGN is one of the most important research institutions for all aspects of biological diversity. In regard to geobiological collections, the Frankfurt Senckenberg museum is one of the most important natural history museums in all of Europe, as well as one of the biggest. Natural history collections are the largest and most important research infrastructure of the Senckenberg. With around 40 million counting units, they represent the largest natural history collection in Germany and probably the sixth largest in the world. In accordance with its long tradition, the societies’ primary purpose is to conduct biological and natural research, and to make this accessible to everyone through publication, education, and its museums. The society is also the editor of both high-ranking academic journals and popular science publications.


“With the help of the scanner, detailed images of large-scale thin sections can be made quickly and checked in advance on a large screen.”

Dr. Peter Königshof
Historical Geology and Facies Studies Section

The Senckenberg Society in Numbers


Project background

At the Frankfurt site, the society holds extensive scientific and book collections from various disciplines that are to be successively digitized. To implement this digitization project, the SGN looked for a suitable solution by tendering and opted for a book2net A1 Reprographic studio solution. At the moment, the scanning system is installed in the Department of Paleontology and Historical Geology in Frankfurt am Main, helping to digitize extensive amounts of data from various research areas. This includes the scanning of scientific archives in the form of literature, reports or unpublished research data but also the scanning of various objects in their collections (e.g. herbarium specimens or thin sections of rock).

book2net action

Book2net designed a reprographic studio for SGN including a controllable lighting unit, additional book support and transmitted light table to meet the complex requirements of the collections. The installation took place in March 2021. Due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the instruction and training of the employees by the book2net team took place online and was recorded. SGN employees can now refresh their knowledge of how to use the system or train themselves at any time.


The digital photographic documentation adds enormous scientific value to the scientific community, as these data are stored with the scientific objects in the corresponding collections and can easily be sent on request instead of the objects themselves, which are sometimes very sensitive. Thus, inquiries including the corresponding image documentation can be answered quickly. Although the images do not generally replace more precise analyzes on the microscope, these data provide excellent image quality and are also used for scientific publications, among other things. The book2net reprographic studio at the Frankfurt site is used by numerous departments for various purposes and represents an important addition to the institute’s existing technical equipment.




The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Falcons for the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan

Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan

As a central government agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Justice, based in the capital Tashkent, has been tasked with consistently implementing a uniform state policy in the field of law and practice since the country gained independence in 1991. Special attention is given to the observance of democratic values and the protection of human rights, which are anchored in the constitution, as well as the full development of civil society in order to strengthen its legal framework. The ministry has offices in all 12 regions of Uzbekistan and collects legal and historically relevant public documents.


The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Logo Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan with lettering


Project background

In order to simplify administrative processes, to facilitate the access to documents for the employees and thereby improving the services for the Uzbek population, the Ministry of Justice has decided to start the extensive project of digitizing 160 million bound documents. These documents contain personal data of the Uzbek population spanning three generations. One of the major challenges of the project was that these documents were kept in 248 different locations across the country. In addition, the binding of Asian government documents differs from the European one, which makes it difficult for conventional scanners to capture information in the critical book fold area. The age and fragility of some documents also posed additional challenges.

book2net Falcon V-shape bookscanner at the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan


Since the Ministry of Justice was already familiar with the book2net team and the quality of the book2net scanners from previous projects, the Uzbek government was able to make a quick decision to cooperate again with us on this demanding project. The book2net team gladly accepted the logistical and qualitative challenge and initially developed and supplied two Falcon scanners to assess the situation. Based on the experience with these two units, it was possible to develop a customized solution that included all the aspects required.

Falcon is a small and mobile V-shape book scanner, ideally suited for the gentle digitization of bound stocks up to A4 + format, which can only be scanned with a small opening angle. The glass plate is cut to an angle of 55 °, thus ensuring that all information in the book fold can be correctly captured. At the same time, the Falcon is designed as a production scanner for high throughput and meets the demanding requirements of a long-term project. The ergonomic design makes it easier for the user to work on the device.

During the test phase, our book2net experts determined that it would be much more comfortable to transport the scanner to the documents instead of coordinating their transport to a central location. Therefore, the Falcon was designed as an out-of-the-box solution that can be easily operated by all employees of the ministry: The scanner’s special transport box also serves as a support table, so that the scanner must only be unpacked and connected to a computer.


Book2net delivered the devices to the individual locations and carried out on-site training for the employees. The Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan was therefore able to start the project as planned. According to feedback from the ministry, the digitization will be also completed in the planned period, as all devices are working smoothly. We are incredibly pleased to have made our contribution to this important, community-oriented project.

See the Falcon

Further Case Studies

Exterior view of the Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai

Installation at the Mohammed bin Rashid Library Dubai

Installation at the Mohammed bin Rashid Library Dubai

In 2016, the government in Dubai began planning a new building for the library, which was founded in 1981. The architecturally ambitious building is reminiscent of a lectern or an open book. With a holdings of over 4.5 million media, the new building will house the largest library in the Arab world. At the same time, it will also have the highest technological standard: over 2 million e-books alone are made accessible by 2020.
Exterior view of the Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai
Logo Mohammed bin Rashid Library Dubai

The Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Numbers


construction cost

expected per year


Project background

Since the new library was to be equipped according to the highest technological standards, the most modern digitization solutions were searched for by tendering. Through our partner Naseej, the leading provider of digital transformation solutions in the Middle East, we were able to take part in the tender and convince due to the high quality of our products.

book2net book scanner in the Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai

book2net action

Despite significant restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of 25 book2net scanners were delivered in September 2020. All devices were installed on site by our technicians within ten days. The library staff and the staff at Naseej have been carefully trained in the use of the various devices in order to ensure that the library can work smoothly in the future.

Systems used

Cobra A1 Flash A1 Dragon Repro stand Hornet A0 Spirit


The 25 book2net scanners not only make a fundamental contribution to the digitization of the valuable holdings, but also support the employees to a large extent in everyday library life. Especially against the background of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, they help to carry out online services reliably.

About Hornet A0



Long-term cooperation with the LMU

The Ludwig Maximilian University

The Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) is known throughout Europe as a renowned educational institution rich in tradition. Founded in 1472 , the LMU is one of the oldest and largest universities in Germany. As one of the elite universities in the country, the LMU is also one of Europe’s leading research institutions. With its highly diversified array of disciplines, it has outstanding potential for pioneering research.
Scanning books with book2net Spirit A 3 at Ludwig Maximilians University Munich
Ludwig Maximilians University logo

The Ludwig Maximilian University in numbers





Project background

The LMU library, including the central library and another 14 branch libraries, holds approximately 5 million media and is thus one of the largest university libraries in Germany. It is a modern center of information transfer for science, research and teaching.

To implement a digitization program that would make the extensive inventory accessible to students through self-service systems and also be sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly, the LMU looked for a suitable solution by tendering.

book2net Public A2 book scanner at Ludwig Maximilians University

book2net action

In order to successfully implement the LMU’s digitization program, book2net began installing several self-service scanners from the Public and Spirit series in 2009. More than 40 of these devices can now be found in the faculties and branch libraries, helping the students to digitize books independently.

To date, hardly any maintenance work has been necessary, although the number of scans generated by some devices now exceeds five million. The first ten systems from 2009 are still in continuous use. Reliability and durability of the devices, as well as mutual trust, are the basis of our long-term successful partnership.

About the spirit advance About the kiosk public

Further case studies

Hessian State Archives Wiesbaden exterior view

Archive Pro at the Hessian State Archives

German Federal
Document Safeguarding

According to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property, the German Federal and State Archives have scanned and microfilmed their most valuable collections since 1961. The microfilming is carried out on behalf of the Federation under the leadership of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK). The archive material is security-filmed on microfilm in accordance with selection criteria defined by the Federal Government and in compliance with specified technical standards.
Hessian State Archives Wiesbaden exterior view

“Regarding the German Federal Safeguarding Project, I can look back on a very successful year, in which you and your company played a major role.”

Dr. Johann Zilien
The Hessian State Archives, Wiesbaden

The Hessian State Archives in numbers

film containers


microfilm material


Project background

As part of the conversion of the microfilming devices to digital technology, which was agreed between the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and the Conference of Heads of the Federal and State Archives Administrations (KLA), four of the German state archives involved have already decided to purchase a total of 12 book2net high-performance archive scanners.

book2net Cobra A1 V-shape book scanner training in the Hessian State Archives

book2net action

The state archives of Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine Westphalia and the Secret State Archives Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation are the first institutions to have opted for our newly developed high-performance archive scanner book2net Archive Pro. The Archive Pro, developed in close cooperation with our customers as a hybrid scanning system, combines the functionality of a variable repro system with the user-friendliness, reliability and performance of an archive scanner. This unique versatility is particularly advantageous when digitizing heterogeneous collections. From mass digitization to individual conservational scans: As single device, the book2net Archive Pro covers a large number of tasks that would otherwise require different special scanners.


The first systems have been in use since the beginning of 2020. The projects were awarded in the course of tenders, in which, despite cheaper competitive products, we were able to prevail due to our unique technical features, versatility and outstanding quality.

About the Archive Pro

systems used

8 archive scanners

Archive Pro A2

2 archive scanners

Ultra A2

1 V-shape archive scanner

Cobra A1

1 reprographic camera

X71 camera

Further case studies

The National Archives exterior vie entry

Multispectral Imaging System at The National Archives

Multispectral Imaging System at The National Archives

Guarding over a thousand years of national documents, The National Archives take a special role in the preservation of its country’s history. They are the official publisher for the UK government, England, and Wales, and emerged between 2003 and 2006 as a joined cooperation between four government organizations: the
Public Record Office, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, and the Office of Public Sector Information. Today, they collect and manage government information, maintaining
everything from “Shakespeare’s will to tweets from Downing Street.”
The National Archives exterior vie entry

“We are very pleased with the results so far […]. Ensuring access to our collection is central to our mission, so revealing text that has faded beyond our physical ability to read is a significant advancement for our team and our audiences.”

The National Archives Blog, June 2019

The National Archives in numbers

years of British history

of shelving



Project background

With a comprehensive collection of manuscripts, maps and documents, The National Archives are keen on guaranteeing thorough object preservation as well as providing extensive research opportunities. In search of a Multispectral Imaging System (MSI) which would be accessible by all staff members instead of imaging specialists only, TNA issued a corresponding tender. With the help of the MSI they hoped to increase the readability of manuscripts written in faded ink, identify unknown pigments for restoration and detect underdrawings and hidden layers in paintings. Winning the tender, book2net enabled TNA to do so.

Visualization of writing and inks using book2net multispectral system

Book2Net Action

By installing our innovative Multispectral Imaging System in March 2019 and instructing the staff on how to operate the system, TNA were given a handy equipment for digitization and restoration. The bespoke solution now continues to simplify archivists’ lives and gives them a new research tool. The next large project that was enabled is the “BT 43 Designs on Demand” project, with almost 3 million designs to be evaluated.


First results have been achieved, such as the identification of a pigment in the BT registers. Also, the legibility of old documents written in iron gall ink was successfully increased and has therefore been of great help to researchers. Satisfied with the equipment, the National Archives can now embark on a journey to restoration and research.

about the mutlispectral imaging system

The National Archives blog entries

Collection Care welcomes a new multispectral imaging system

Smoke and mirrors:

Revealing the Gunpowder Plot through heritage science


New ways to see and search them

Further case studies