I was over by my grandparent's place this past weekend. My grandmother pulled out this giant (~1400 page) book of her family history going back to 1630 or so. Giant nerd that I am, I thought it would be slick to have all the information stored in a database and available from the web. I can handle all the web programming and regular expressions and what not, but what I don't know is the best way to get the text from book to computer.
I know some kind of OCR will be necessary, from the little research I've done, it seems like my options are:
- take a picture of every page with a camera then process the pictures with OCR software
- use a scanner to scan each page, then process with OCR software
- use some kind of hand held device, like this.
Does anyone have any ideas about the best way to tackle this problem? I don't want to destroy the book, because as far as I know, it can't be replaced. This is probably the only time I'm ever going to scan a large book, so I don't think I want to spend more than $250 on any kind of device. I don't mind some manual effort here (I realize this will most likely take months), but I'd like to find the most efficient method possible.
Note about the book: It's only about 20 years old, so it's in pretty good shape. It's monochrome and the pages haven't begun to yellow. Since it is so large though, I worry about possible shadows when the text gets down close to the binding.