Solutions for Book Scanning

The digitization of bound materials such as books, magazines, journals, and newspapers is especially demanding. It requires a solution that delivers conservation handling, preservation image quality, production speed and extensive flexibility. DTDCH has several systems that meet these demands and are ideal for digitizing bound materials.

Conservation Handling

Bound materials require careful handling to ensure the process of digitization does not degrade their condition. This is especially important with tightly bound materials, delicate parchment, items with friable illuminations, and materials already in degraded condition. Each of our systems provides a range of handling options keeping the operator in control of the material, thereby ensuring their safety. 100° vs 180° Opening All DTDCH systems support scanning bound materials open to 100°, minimizing tension on the binding. The DT BC100 Book Capture System is natively configured to scan books at 100°. The DT RGC180 Capture Cradle and DT RG3040 Reprographic System can hold bound materials at 100° using an optional book cradle. Materials that can be safely opened to 180° enable simultaneous capture of both facing-pages with a single camera. The DT RGC180 is designed specifically to support 180° scanning in a rapid capture workflow. PSI-Controlled Contact vs Non-Contact Contact scanning uses a glass platen to reduce page curl. Our DT RGC180 and DT BC100 use purpose-built pneumatics to offset the weight of the glass platen. This puts the operator in complete control of how much pressure is applied to the materials in order to keep within safe limits for any given object.

Material Handling Options with all DTDCH Book Scanning Systems:

PSI-Controlled Contact Non-Contact
DTDCH Solution 100° opening 180° opening 100° opening
DT BC100 Native N/A Optional Rare Book Module
DT RGC180 Optional Book Cradle Native Optional Book Support
DT RG3040 Optional Book Cradle N/A Optional Book Support


Preservation Quality

DTDCH solutions exceed FADGI 4-Star and Metamorfoze-Strict standards. We achieve this by using Schneider large format digitar lenses and vibration free electronic shutters, along with Phase One medium format digital backs with up to 80mp sensors producing scans up to 480mb. This results in true Preservation Digital Objects with accurate color, tone, and detail. Many manufacturers claim their equipment attains FADGI 4-star quality, but very few do. Leveraging the raw processing in Capture One Cultural Heritage Edition software, and its class-leading debayering algorithm DTDCH solutions extract pixel level detail and color accuracy previously only seen in cumbersome multi-shot systems.

Production Speed

A collection of “only” a few thousand bound-materials can contain millions of pages. With such volume it is critical to maintain production speed in both the capture and post-processing stages. Capture Stage Our systems capture nearly instantly (e.g. 1/60th sec) and display almost immediately. The sophisticated material handling systems of the DT RGC180 and DT BC100 allow the operator to move through the material as quickly as they feel is safe. Therefore, the capture rate is only limited by the condition of the material and whether the system is capturing facing pages or each page individually.

Maximum Capture Speeds in Pages Per Hour (pph) for each DTDCH Book Scanner:

Controlled Contact Non-Contact
DTDCH Solution 100° opening 180° opening 100° opening
DT BC100 Up to 1200 pph N/A N/A
DT RGC180 Up to 600 pph Up to 1200 pph Up to 400 pph
DT RG3040 Up to 600 pph Up to 800 pph Up to 400 pph
DT Atom Up to 600 pph Up to 800 pph Up to 400 pph


Post-Processing Stage Most digitization software looks like it was developed in the 1990s, because most of it was. Capture One CH 8 is a modern solution built on the venerable and widely used Capture One software. It is designed for cultural heritage workflows, supports all modern operating systems, is frequently updated, and can handle massive numbers of files with ease. Checking focus, zooming in on high resolution images, and scrolling through pages for quality control is lightning fast. Capture One CH 8 features book scanning tools such as Autocrop and AutoDeskew, Page Splitting,  LAB Support, Resolution Ruler, Batch Processing, and Raw-Stage Quality Control. These tools enable the automation of tedious post-production tasks that are inherent to the post-processing stage of book digitization. If your institution needs to OCR text, generate and quality control METS/ALTO metadata, or combine the individual pages to a PDF, our solutions integrate seamlessly with nearly any OCR and digital binding software such as CCS DocWorks Content Conversion Software.

Extensive Flexibility

The encyclopedic collections of cultural heritage institutions are rarely homogenous. Our systems are versatile, interoperable, and modularly upgradeable to ensure you’re not stuck with a limited tool box. They are also flexible in their use, allowing techniques that are impossible on competing systems. Interoperable and Modularly Upgradable Our solutions for digitizing bound materials comprises a reprographics system (such as the DT BC100, DT RG3040, or DT RGC180), a camera head (such as the DT RCam), lighting, and in some cases, an optional book cradle. Each of these components can be purchased, traded in and upgraded separately. For instance, an institution that purchased a [DT RGC180 and DT RCam] for scanning newspapers would only need to add the DT Film Scanning Kit to scan an encyclopedic collection of transmissive materials.. Big Books? No problem Many historical collections include oversized bound material that are too large for most book scanners. The DT BC100 glass platen supports scanning pages up to 17” x 24“ with bindings up to 4”. The DT RGC180 can capture facing pages of up to 17” x 25” in the cradle, or individual pages up to 30”x40” using the included hard top. The DT RG3040 can accommodate facing pages of up to 14” x 10” using the optional book cradle or individual pages up to 30”x40” using the hard top. For increased versatility the DT RGC180 and DT RG3040 can accommodate massive bound materials of up to 54” x 70” pages in a single capture, or even larger by stitching by remounting the camera on the column to face backward.

Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Photography by Graham S. Haber.

Maximum page size for each DTDCH Book Scanner:


DTDCH Solution Facing Pages Individual Page Individual Page w/ Stitching
DT BC100 17” x 24” N/A N/A
DT RGC180 17” x 25” 30” x 40” N/A
DT RG3040 Rotated Column N/A 54” x 70” 54” wide, any length
DT RG3040 With Optional Cradle 14” x 10” 30” x 40” N/A
DT RG3040 Rotated Column N/A 54” x 70” 54” wide, any length

Creative Lighting Most of the time Cultural Heritage imaging is done with very flat proscriptive lighting, typically two lights mounted 45° from the subject. However,  there are situations where more creative lighting is required, for instance, to rake light across an embossed cover to enhance the dimensionality of the embossing. DTDCH systems can be used with free-standing, easily movable lighting with a variety of modifiers.

DT RGC180 Capture Cradle

The DT RGC180 is a multi-role copy stand that allows the digitization of many different types of material sizes. From books (using the glass top platen), film (partnered with DT FSK), loose manuscripts and flat art.  The DT RGC180 is a fast and versatile digitizing machine that is a great compliment to any institutions preservation needs.

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DT BC100 Book Scanner System

The DT BC100, the fastest and most powerful book capture system available. Using a two camera rail system and state of the art optics and image sensors the DT BC100 can capture page at an astounding rate all while preserving the integrity of the material.

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DT RG3040 Reprographic System

Legacy copy stands were designed to meet the relatively loose precision required for film capture. The DT RG3040 Reprographic System was built from the ground up for the era of digital capture.

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