Last august I had the chance to learn about the process of digitalizing old books in the Badische Landesbibliothek. It’s a very complex process, because you can’t just rip out the pages and throw them on the scanner. However, the process is worth the effort, preserving books from centuries ago forever.
The machine this library is using is called the Grazer Buchtisch because it was invented at the University Library of Graz in Austria. Interestingly, this machine uses a digital camera instead of a scanner to digitalize each page. The advantage is that the book doesn’t have to be completely opened, minimizing the chance of any damage.
The machine itself is located in the basement of the library, so few people found their way down there this night. But once you entered the basement, you were drawn like a fly to the light. In order to take a perfect photo, they used a lot of light, creating an interesting shadow play on the walls.