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Old 05-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #1
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How do you digitize a six foot wide book?

A wonderful article at BoingBoing about how the British Library is scanning and digitizing the 350 year old Klencke Atlas. It has been scanned in a lower resolution before, but this represents the state-of-the-art in scanning oversized books.

Watch how librarians digitize a 6-foot wide book

Last edited by drjenkins; 05-15-2017 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:07 PM   #2
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I've got another question. Who would ever want to create a 6-foot wide book?
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:07 PM   #3
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I've got another question. Who would ever want to create a 6-foot wide book?
Apparently as a showpiece and map preserver
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:17 PM   #4
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I've got another question. Who would ever want to create a 6-foot wide book?
I've never been to one but I imagine newspaper morgues might have such books. They preserve the texts of old newspapers (pre-microfilm) in large over sized books.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:55 AM   #5
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I've never been to one but I imagine newspaper morgues might have such books. They preserve the texts of old newspapers (pre-microfilm) in large over sized books.
You know, I had forgotten about them. But I don't think that fully opened, the typical newspaper of today would come close to being six feet across.

Which brings up another point . . . . for the life of me, I don't see why more newspapers don't go to the tabloid format. It is far easier to manage, etc. The only thing that I can think of is that tabloids, in the U.S., at least, are associated with trash, sleaze, lies, etc.) and most newspapers don't want that association (even if those newspapers do, in fact, have a lot of trash, sleaze, lies, etc. ha).
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:05 AM   #6
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Apparently as a showpiece and map preserver
I can imagine its use as a showpiece, but as a map preserver, no. I can't think of any reason that any map should be that big--you can always cover less area on a map or reduce the scale.

I can't believe that a book like being actually used, but I'll read up on it. Can you imagine Magellan, trying to find his Strait, telling one of his crew to bring up from downstairs a book like that, so he could find his way! It would probably take a crane. Shiver me timbers!

Yep, I think that it had to be a showpiece. But I'll be interested in seeing the results of the digitizing, from a practical standpoint.

BTW--my hunch, from reading here and there, is that the British Museum is probably on the forefront in the world of digitizing old things. Thank you, British Museum!
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by GtrsRGr8 View Post
Which brings up another point . . . . for the life of me, I don't see why more newspapers don't go to the tabloid format. It is far easier to manage, etc. The only thing that I can think of is that tabloids, in the U.S., at least, are associated with trash, sleaze, lies, etc.) and most newspapers don't want that association (even if those newspapers do, in fact, have a lot of trash, sleaze, lies, etc. ha).
I don't think there's a Dutch newspaper that isn't tabloid format...


Back on topic:

I wonder how they even made that 6 foot wide book originally! And couldn't they have anticipated that some day people would want to scan that book to preserver it for eternity...
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:06 AM   #8
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I've got another question. Who would ever want to create a 6-foot wide book?
Really bad eyesight.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:25 AM   #9
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According to Wikipedia the Klencke Atlas consists of 41 copperplate wall maps. The supposed intention was that you would tear out the map you wanted and mount it on the wall. Apparently someone said "Don't do that, this might be worth something in 350 years".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klencke_Atlas
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:26 AM   #10
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According to Wikipedia the Klencke Atlas consists of 41 copperplate wall maps. The supposed intention was that you would tear out the map you wanted and mount it on the wall. Apparently someone said "Don't do that, this might be worth something in 350 years".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klencke_Atlas
I only know I'd love to have that book! I'm crazy about old maps.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:31 PM   #11
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You know, that's neat and all, and I'll go check out the article, but I'd have thought that with even consumer-quality digital cameras, you'd have high enough quality, and the easy-to-use panorama and stitching software, to make this a somewhat trivial task.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:58 PM   #12
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I've got another question. Who would ever want to create a 6-foot wide book?
That makes it a relatively small book.
Mason Williams on the other hand, well, his was a big book.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:53 PM   #13
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I don't think there's a Dutch newspaper that isn't tabloid format...
Yeah, I've been to Europe a time or two, but I didn't pay any attention to their newspapers, that I remember. But when you see a person reading a newspaper on TV and such in the U.K., it is inevitably a tabloid. One thing (of many, I'm sure) where the Europeans could teach the Americans something.

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Back on topic:

I wonder how they even made that 6 foot wide book originally!
Great question. I suppose that it was like the "illuminated" Bibles. I have almost no knowledge of them, but it seems that each scribe/artist/whoever would have been assigned several pages to illuminate, and it might not take very long, relatively speaking, to finish the book.

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And couldn't they have anticipated that some day people would want to scan that book to preserver it for eternity...
Yes, I think that Nostradamus had something to say about that in one of his prophecies. ha

Actually, I think developments like digitization were beyond even the best futurists of that time from being able to imagine. It wasn't until the early 1800's that the camera even was invented!
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:56 PM   #14
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Really bad eyesight.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:59 PM   #15
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You know, that's neat and all, and I'll go check out the article, but I'd have thought that with even consumer-quality digital cameras, you'd have high enough quality, and the easy-to-use panorama and stitching software, to make this a somewhat trivial task.
Yeah, stitching software has become very good in the last few years. I've used one in connection with a cheap scanner, and I couldn't tell (an expert might) where one scan ended and the next one began.
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