A book of letters from my father 2.0
November 10, 2016 8:57 AM   Subscribe

My father lived in Paris for many years and wrote me a daily letter. He made a copy of each and then had them printed and leather bound in a book titled "Letters From Your Father in Paris" (it is a funny title, as he is my only father-I think the title implies that I have other fathers around the world). I'd like to have a few copies made of the book for my future generations and need help figuring out how to do make this happen.

Dad gave the book to me in 1992 and I have not opened it very often. The pages are somewhat stuck together, as the ink has aged a bit. It's about 400 pages of 8 1/2" X 11" paper-printed on both sides of each page. Leather bound by hand.

I'd like to have three more copies made and am having trouble deciding how to best go about it. Cost is a consideration, but I'm willing to spend what I have to to have the book reproduced. I'm not committed to having the new copies leather bound. And...I'm hoping to have it done by Christmas.

I tried taking an image with my phone to create a pdf, but that is proving difficult. I think that option can be nixed right away. I can't go back to where he had the books made, as I'm in the States and the book was made in Paris.
posted by jennstra to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I know the scanning option via phone is not working, but you might check large academic libraries near you to see if they have a book scanner. They automatically correct the image and can save to PDF. You could probably do 400 pages in a half hour or so.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:39 AM on November 10, 2016


Maybe this book scanning service?
posted by TheGoodBlood at 9:43 AM on November 10, 2016


This is a good post about one rig someone made.

https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/03/16/a-book-photography-stand/

I prefer stands that keep the book open at a 90ยบ angle and shoot all the odd pages then the even ones, but that's a lot of work. The advantage of this is you can avoid some of the curving near the spine without smashing the book much. The degree that matters depends on the binding.
posted by advicepig at 9:44 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


This one is a little more like the style I like.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Foldable-book-stand-for-camera-scanning/
posted by advicepig at 9:56 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd at least get a quote from a professional scanning service. If your profile is up to date, this one may be near you - they'll give you a quote that includes unbinding and reassembling the book and giving you a batch of PDFs. My guess is that it'll be more cost effective than you'd guess, and will give you better quality than anything you'd be able to do yourself.
posted by Kriesa at 10:26 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Check with a local historian or archivist at a musem or state historical society. They can steer you towards good options. I would like to stress the importance of paper and ink choices for this. You will want something of good archival quality so the paper and ink does not break down and disintegrate over time.

This was a lovely gesture from your Father.
posted by LilithSilver at 6:55 PM on November 10, 2016


On your phone are you using an app like Camscanner (android). It's a little gem that a teacher told me about.
posted by idb at 4:52 AM on November 11, 2016


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