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Subject: Minolta scanner

Minolta scanner

From: Lorraine Olley <olley>
Date: Tuesday, January 16, 1996
Robert Smith <robert.smith [at] librius__otago__ac__nz> writes

>The University of Otagop Library is considering buying the new
>Minolta DPCS 3000 digital publication copying system. This is
>hopefully an archival quality photocopier which allows books to be
>scanned 'face up'...
>Have any members of the list purchased such a machine, and if so how
>do they rate its performance?

Minolta DPCS (Digital Publication Copying System) 3000

The IU Libraries have been investigating digital scanning of graphic
materials as an alternative to preservation microfilming. The
Department is seeking a technology that will non-destructively scan
a bound volume to produce a digital image of a page, for later
enhancement, OCR processing, electronic transmission, etc.  We also
wish to produce from the digital files facsimile copies of bound
volumes, on permanent/durable paper, with page registration and a
binding margin.

The IUL Preservation Department tested the Phase I DPCS from
December 5-18, 1995.  This iteration of DPCS consists of the PS 3000
Planetary Scanner and the Di30 Digital Copier.  Each of these units
can operate independently, and since future phases of the system
will not incorporate the Di30, this evaluation reviews the
performance of each separately.

Di30

The digital copier component is basically an office-type copier and
has many features that are attractive in that environment but not in
a preservation reformatting operation.  It produced high-quality
copies of texts, line drawings, photographs and halftones.  However
it is extremely slow.  Since Minolta plans to offer subsequent
phases of the system with a low-end laser printer instead of the
copier, it is not necessary to look for upgrades in the Di30.

PS 3000

The most innovative and, from the preservation standpoint, important
feature of the digital scanner is that bound volumes may be scanned
face-up.  This is beneficial for all library materials, but
especially for rare items.  The automatic curve correction produces
legible copies from very tightly bound volumes.  One rare book was
successfully scanned when opened only to a 90 degree angle.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to produce a facsimile
preservation copy of a bound volume.  There is no option for adding
a binding margin.  In addition, the automatic curve correction,
while producing legible copies from pages with tight gutter margins,
makes page registration nearly impossible.

If the page is 4" or closer to the scanning head, it is impossible
to get a legible image.  Since many older volumes, especially
serials and government publications, may exceed the 4" limit, it is
important to be able to increase the distance between the scanner
and the page.

One unresolved question about the scanner is resolution. The Minolta
brochure claims "True Gray Scale image reproduction equivalent to
6400 dots per inch."  However, for preservation purposes, the input
image resolution that will be stored in the digital file is more
important than the image reproduction.  The specification sheet sent
by the sales rep states that the scanning resolution is 200, 300,
and 400 dpi, with 256 gray scales, but gave no information about
which modes scan at which resolutions.  Since the scanner offers
only two modes, it is unclear how it could scan at three different
resolutions.

Summary

>From the preservation standpoint, the Di30 copier has no benefits.
The PS 3000 as it is currently configured is adequate for most
scanning of bound volumes.  In Phase II and subsequent developments,
it will be possible to connect the scanner to printers, disk drives
and other peripherals, and to network it. This will make the scanner
extremely attractive for both special collections (to make
nondestructive copies) and access services (to make electronic
transmission of requested materials in one step).

Any decision on the utility of the scanner for digital reformatting
for preservation is contingent on more information from the
manufacturer.  We hope to see Phase II in operation in the next few
months and to be able to make a recommendation then.  We would also
appreciate hearing about others' experience with the Minolta PS
3000.

See the IUL Preservation Department Home Page
(http://www.indiana.edu/~libpres) for a longer version of this
report and DPCS 3000 product information from Minolta.

Lorraine Olley
Head, Preservation Department
Indiana University Libraries

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:55
                Distributed: Wednesday, January 17, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-55-004
                                  ***
Received on Tuesday, 16 January, 1996

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