On Saturday, 12 Oct 2013, I attended a presentation by Norm Henke at the computer genealogy group, NEOCAG (a local genealogical society focusing on using computers in genealogy–go to http://neocag.net/), on going paperless in genealogy with a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner.
This peaked my curiosity, so I went to the Fujitsu website http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap/, scrolled down the list, and learned of a very interesting BRAND-NEW product that might fit the needs of WRHS in creating digitial files for preservation and database creation: The ScanSnap SV600 Contactless Scanner.
The SV600 is ready to go for $795 (list price)—-when connected to a computer and monitor. It was introduced world-wide only about a month ago. Check this website which provides the announcement details from Fujitsu: http://virtualization.sys-con.com/node/2775571
One Key Feature: the package includes software to convert the image to a “searchable PDF.” If you are digitizing books and similar printed materials, this would avoid the necessity of a separate indexing step. For hand-written materials, you would still need to create an index and link it to the relevant images. But the SV600 would be SAFE to use on this and other fragile materials.
Another Key Feature: the included software includes a page straightening feature to correct for any curvature in digitized pages. And if you capture a finger in the image, the software allows you to remove it.
Go to this web page http://content.webcollage.net/apps/cs/mini-site/fujitsu/module/fujitsuamerica/wcpc/1380659886048/tab/demo-b462bb77?enable-reporting=true&showtabs=&channel-product-id=PA03641-B005 to watch a video of the SV600 in action and also to read more about features and to download a brochure, in PDF format, of course. Note that one of the people operating the SV600 in the video is a receptionist in an office setting—not a scanning technician. It’s that simple to operate. There are YouTube videos from around the world as well, just do a search for Fujitsu SV600.
I have recommended this scanner to the Genealogical Committee, an auxiliary of the Western Reserve Historical Society, which is studying ways to improve access by WRHS Research Libary patrons to collections in the WRHS Archives. If I could afford it, I would buy one myself. Stay tuned.