Category Archives: A

Archive scanner

Why do archives need special scanners?

In addition to libraries and museums, archives are among the main custodians of movable cultural assets. In public ownership, they form the particularly sensitive cultural as well as the legal-administrative memory of a state, a municipality or a region. But also private archives, be it of companies, religious communities, political parties, clubs or family associations, can be of great social importance.

The information stored in archives and the associated information carriers are summarized under the term archive material. Archival records generally include documents that are no longer required by the relevant institutions, authorities, companies, organizations or private individuals for current tasks, but have been assessed as valuable for an indefinite storage. The information can be transmitted on different carriers: paper-based such as charters, documents, letters, sheet music, maps, plans, photos, electronically such as films and sound recordings, and increasingly also in digital form. Often there are also objects included such as seals or glass negatives.

What is specific to archives is that the information stored is mostly unique. Therefore, they are often subject to the protection of cultural property as part of the cultural heritage. Public archives generally work on the basis of archive laws, which define archiving and the associated fields of work as a public task. This includes the indexing, preservation of the holdings and the provision of archival materials for the community. In this context, the digitization of archival material has become increasingly important.

The complexity of archive material and the various fields of activity of archives require different systems for digitization and utilization.

Therefore, archive scanners such as our book2net Spirit A3 oder book2net Public A2 are the best solution for public areas. They offer quality, ease of use, robustness, durability and a protected operating system that cannot be manipulated.

On the other hand, archive scanners that accommodate the different formats, structures and requirements of archive material are required for digitization projects. For this purpose, we have specially developed the book2net archive scanner Archive Pro in close cooperation with our customers. This scanning system uniquely combines the qualities of a high-end book scanner with the advantages of a variable repro system, allowing the digitization of formats from A1+ to A5+ with a resolution of up to 1,200 dpi. Providing a height-adjustable camera slide, process-controlled automatic scanning and an accessible motorized support table, the system is extremely variable and user-friendly.

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Apochromat / apochromatic

When light passes through an optical system (lenses made of glass), so-called “color errors” can occur. In this phenomenon, for example, white light is refracted into its components, which also explains the play of colors on glass edges when exposed to sunlight. A similar phenomenon is known from water surfaces, and rainbows are also basically based on this principle.

An apochromat (Greek for free of color, colorless) is an optical system, e.g. a lens, in which these color errors are largely corrected.

apochromatic image of a building

Comparison of an image with and without chromatic correction
Source: Wikimedia Commons (unchanged)
Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Since such color errors should be avoided when digitizing, our systems work with a chromatic-corrected lens that compensates for this phenomenon. Otherwise, colored fragments would show around the edges of black letters, for example, and the scan would not be identical with the original.

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Autofocus

Autofocus is a common feature when taking photos with consumer cameras from providers such as Sony, Nikon, or Canon. Before the shutter is released, the focal length is automatically adjusted so that the subject is in focus. Although this function is very useful for private amateur photographers, it is not very helpful for professional digitization. Due to the frequent change of focus, the size of the image section does not remain constant either. This leads to image jumps when looking at the scans. In addition, the mechanics of such cameras are designed more for horizontal photography. Working overhead, such as with a repro system, makes working conditions difficult. With a daily number of several thousand scans, these consumer cameras wear out very quickly.

To minimize this wear and tear and to ensure a comfortable and productive workflow, we use a motorized focus that automatically focuses on defined positions while maintaining its settings. This gives our customers the advantage of quick focus adjustment without having to accept the disadvantages mentioned above.