I uploaded my first contribution to archive.org today. A reader of my site from Germany asked if I had copies of “The Book of Forbidden Knowledge”, I assume after seeing it listed on the page with cover scans (actually photos) of various Johnson smith & Company booklets I have collected over the years.
I told her I’d scan my copy and send a PDF, but since I’d been finding so much incredible stuff on Archive.org lately I decided to upload it there so that everyone could have a digital copy if they wanted.
I figured I’d roughly outline my process with a few images:
I scan ever page individually at 400dpi in 24bit color. I have scanned them 2-up before, but the time saved at the scanner is lost in separating the images of the two pages in editing. For ease I just flip the book upside down ever other page so that I lay it on the platen in the same spot every time:
This means that every other page is upside down, but not a problem. I set the scanning area to be a bit larger than needed, so that if I don’t place it exactly in the same spot, I don’t end up cutting off something I need.
Once I have the scans, I import them all into photoshop and use the cropping tool to get the bulk of the text block with a little extra. You can rotate the area you crop to help straighten it out. From there I just click Image>Image Rotation>180 and it’s right side up.
I save each page with the correct page number, the above being ForbiddenKnowledge-pg01.tif, and the covers will get a -C1 for front, -C2 inside front, -C3 inside back, -C4 back.
I then open one image and create a Photoshop Action that strips the yellow paper color from the page (Image>Adjustments>Replace Color) and then use the curves to give the page a crisp dark black and white (Image>Adjustments>Curves) and finally convert to Grayscale. I close that image without saving and then use the Batch command with the new Action to zip through the directory of interior page images.
After this is done, I put them all into an InDesign file and exported to a PDF without compressing the images. I uploaded that PDF to Archive.org and it had automagically processed it before I was able to finish writing this blog, allowing me to put the following inline:
I started scanning this 36 page booklet at 11:20 this morning and posted the blog at about 1:20pm.
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