Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, May 12, 2003

Stanford has acquired a Swiss-built robot that digitizes more than 1,000 book or newspaper pages per hour. The bottleneck for human scanning operations is page turning, which the robot handles with speed and delicacy. Michael Keller, head of the Stanford libraries, wouldn't disclose the price of the robot, but did say that it becomes cost effective for any project aiming to digitize more than 5.5 million pages. Technologies like this will start to open up the treasure house of the public domain. Quoting a story in today's NY Times (free registration required): "Mr. Keller said the library increased the circulation of its collection by 50 percent when it computerized its card catalog. Digitizing out-of-print books could likewise make them available to a much wider audience, he said. The payoff for building such a digital collection, he added, is vastly improved availability of a huge store of knowledge and information for teaching, learning and research."