McGill U Library Scanning Rare Books with Kirtas

McGill University Library in Montreal will be using a Kirtas Technologies APT BookScan 2400RA to digitize its collections. The company said that the 2400RA is capable of acquiring page images at the rate of 2,400 pages per hour. The library will be working with Ristech, a Canadian reseller, to implement the digitization solution.

"The technology made available by Kirtas will allow us to reveal the treasures of McGill Library to the world and enable sophisticated means of resource discovery," said Janine Schmidt, Trenholme director of libraries.

While the library was an early adopter of digitizing books--its efforts began in 1996--this is its first attempt at a large-scale, mass digitization of texts from its diverse rare book collections. Among the 300,000 titles housed in Rare Books and Special Collections at McGill are collections of art and architecture, Canadiana, history, literature, philosophy (including a renowned David Hume Collection), travel and exploration, and the history of the book.

Once the books are digitized and processed, files will be made available worldwide through the library's online catalog. Readers will be able to obtain books printed on demand through major online retailers such as Amazon.com and Lulu.com.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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