DNP to Digitalize Books using World Beating High Speed Book Scanner

Digitalization of book collection at University of Tokyo Library System to be test case

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) will commence the digitalization of the book collection at the University of Tokyo Library System. This project will employ a world beating high speed book scanner developed in conjunction with the research team under Professor Masatoshi Ishikawa and Lecturer/Assistant Professor Yoshihiro Watanabe of the University of Tokyo in test operations. The use of the new scanner will facilitate efficient digitalization methods without damaging the precious collection or other materials.

[Test Operations]

The high speed book scanner photographs all the pages of a book, taking the works in their original format and turning each page, one-by-one, at the world' s most rapid rate of 250 pages per minute, then saves them as image data. This image data is reconstituted as text via an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process, and can be used as searchable data.

As part of the University of Tokyo New Library Project, that will significantly expand the present library facilities situated at the university' s Hongo campus, the University of Tokyo Library System is engaged in the preservation and use of collected materials. This is designed to pass down the precious academic materials to the next generation, and have people both affiliated with the university, and those who are not, make broad use of the vast collection,

DNP will not only digitalize the books and academic materials in the library system, but will also prepare bibliographic data on a title basis. Collections to be digitalized are out of copyright, and mainly consist of works for which University of Tokyo teaching staff formerly held copyrights.

[Development of World Beating High Speed Book Scanner]

Amidst the expanded use of e-books, university libraries are digitalizing precious materials and posting them on web sites. At the same time, however, little progress has been made in the digitalization of entire collections given the work and processing burdens, including time. As a concrete example, it is necessary to digitalize books in their original format without breaking up or cutting them. With existing book scanners, however, it has been necessary to turn each page by hand and flatten it on a screen for photography purposes in order to prevent the text or pictures from appearing distorted. As a result, time was not only taken in the reading of the materials, but there was also a strong possibility of damage to them, which presented a challenge.

DNP maintains the know-how for converting paper-based books to e-books, and in conjunction with University of Tokyo research teams is engaged in the development of high speed scanners in order to overcome this challenge since 2010. In 2012, a mechanical high speed page-turning function, technology for the real time 3-D recognition of books status, and an algorithm for the high speed correction of distorted images were introduced, making it possible to achieve the high speed scanning of books in their original format at resolution levels demanded of e-books.

 [At left] High speed book scanner
 [Center] Enlarged image of high speed book scanner
 [At right] Scanned image sample from University of Tokyo book collection

[Looking Ahead]

DNP will accumulate operational know-how related to the world beating high speed book scanner, offering a total service from the digitalization of books to the production of e-books aiming for sales of 1.0 billion yen by FY 2017.


* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.