November 11th, 2009
Most Americans know (I hope) that Veterans Day was originally set aside as the day to remember the end of the first world war. Major fighting in that war ended with the signing of the Armistice on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. Since then it has become a day to honor and remember all U.S. military veterans. Visit www.kirtasbooks.com and search “armistice day” for a book titled An Address Delivered on Armistice day at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It hasn’t been digitized yet, so it’s a great candidate for Invest in Knowledge!
More than two centuries ago, November 11th was a significant date for another reason; the signing of the Treaty of Canandaigua between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and Timothy Pickering, who signed on behalf of President George Washington and the United States of America. The Treaty was signed on November 11, 1794 in Canandaigua, N.Y., just a short drive down the road from our Kirtas headquarters here in Victor.
The treaty, which is still actively recognized by the United States and the Six Nations, established peace and friendship between the two governments and affirmed land rights for the Iroquois in the state of New York and boundaries established by the Phelps and Gorham Purchase of 1788.
Every year on this date the city of Canandaigua recognizes the importance of the signing of this treaty with a ceremony at the site of the signing. You can learn more by visiting http://www.ganondagan.org/CanandaiguaTreaty.html
You should also check out www.kirtasbooks.com and search for titles with the word “iroquois” or “indian”; there’s a lot of great stuff you can find!
October 1st, 2009
Readers and researchers looking for hard-to-find books now have the opportunity to dip into the collections of one of the world’s most comprehensive libraries to purchase digitized copies of public domain titles. Through their Digitize-on-Demand program, Kirtas Technologies has partnered with The New York Public Library to make 500,000 public domain works from the Library’s collections available (to anyone in the world).
“New technology has allowed the Library to greatly expand access to its collections,” said Paul LeClerc, President of The New York Public Library. “Now, for the first time, library users are able to order copies of specific items from our vast public domain collections that are useful to them. Additionally the program creates a digital legacy for future users of the same item and a revenue stream to support our operations. We are very pleased to participate in a program that is so beneficial to everyone involved.”
Using existing information from NYPL’s catalog records, Kirtas will make the library’s public domain books available for sale through its retail site before they are ever digitized. Customers can search for a desired title on www.kirtasbooks.com and place an order for that book. When the order is placed, only then is it pulled from the shelf, digitized and made available as a high-quality reprint or digital file. Read the rest of this entry »
September 17th, 2009
Google recently announced a deal with On Demand Books, the company that makes and sells the Espresso Book Machine. In the deal, Google supplies 2 million digitized books to On Demand Books for use with their Espresso Book Machine.
The Espresso is a Point of Sale machine that prints and binds a book, while the consumer waits. Quality has to come into question when someone pays reportedly $8.00 for a book, that is potentially missing pages, contains operator’s hands and the like. (see example below)
An article written by Norman Oder — Library Journal, 9/17/2009 found at http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6697430.html actually calls out the questions of quality.
One issue regarding the PoD deal for libraries and other end-users is the quality of the scans. Some libraries, such as the University of Pennsylvania (UP) system, have teamed up with Kirtas Technologies for PoD access to public domain holdings. Nothing is scanned until an order is placed.
Penn officials in February said Kirtas’s scanning process results in a higher quality scan, suitable for PoD.
http://www.Kirtasbooks.com currently has more than 800,000 books available from content partners like UPENN, New York Public Library, McGill and McMaster Universities to name a few. Kirtas Technologies offers the complete digitization solution.
As pointed out by the by the University of Pennsylvania, quality digitization is the key to a truly successful program. Google’s rush to scan everything they can get their hands on as fast as the can has produced less than desirable results for a lot of their library partners. Their poorly captured images, and OCR has facilitated their recent purchase of ReCaptcha in an effort to try to make corrections to some of their previous mistakes.
Captured from Google Books 9/17/09
September 11th, 2009
Since it is back-to-school season, I feel compelled to share with you all some of the treasures I’ve found on kirtasbooks.com. I’ve always known there are some gems among the 500,000 titles that are currently on the site (more to come soon!), but I have to admit, I was surprised by the number of classic titles and authors that are right under our noses here at Kirtas. To name a few:
A Christmas Carol
A Tale of Two Cities
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Call of the Wild
These are just a few of the “classic collections” available on Kirtasbooks. There are so many more great titles from literary greats such as Alexandre Dumas, Cervantes, James Fenimore Cooper, Lewis Carroll, Tolstoy, Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, Edith Wharton and so many more! I hope you’ll check out Kirtasbooks.com today!
September 8th, 2009
Earlier this summer I attended a conference called “Connecting to Collections; A Call to Action” sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “Call to Action” was a national tour held in four cities over the course of two years.
“Stewardship of America’s Legacy: Answering the Call to Action,” was the fourth and final session I attended in Buffalo, N.Y., and it explored how committed individuals, ranging from small town librarians to directors of national conservation training programs, can work together to improve collections care and to inspire and inform others, both nationally and in their communities. Read the rest of this entry »
August 20th, 2009
For the second year in a row, Kirtas has been recognized on Inc. Magazine’s listing of Americas fastest-growing private companies! Earning a spot at #328, the list represents a comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent-minded entrepreneurs.
This is significant on several levels to us; the most obvious being the recognition for our hard work and loyal customers. Kirtas’ appearance on this for the second year is also significant for what it says about the book digitization landscape. This is a true testament to the growth of this market and the need for high-quality digitization systems and services.
Read more in our Press Release and learn more on Inc. 500 Web site.
August 18th, 2009
Kirtas is pleased to introduce the Kirtas Automated Book Imaging System (KABIS); the latest innovation in automatic page turning devices. The new system offers streamlined features and additional automation for improved usability, less operator intervention and faster productivity.
There are three models in the KABIS family available to meet the digitization needs of any organization, whether it is a small library with limited needs and budget or a large service bureau requiring mass digitization.
You can read the KABIS press release from ALA where the new systems debuted, or read the data sheet with more information and detailed specifications.
June 12th, 2009
My life over the last two years has completely revolved around the digitization of books, but why? Why are we digitizing books? I’d like to think that it’s because we realize that the majority of the world’s knowledge is trapped in the written word, the world’s knowledge is trapped because the physicality of books locks the data in a container that only has one delivery vehicle.
Since the invention of the written word, mankind has recorded our history one event at a time by writing it down. As a result, man has spent countless hours poring over cave drawings, scrolls and manuscripts in hopes of learning from those who had the foresight to record the events that were important to them in their microcosm of time.
Technologies developed in the last half of the 20th century have provided us with the unique opportunity to not only record the vast knowledge accumulated in the world’s library through digitization, but to make that information available to the world via a plethora of delivery methods.
Read the rest of this entry »
June 5th, 2009
Welcome to “The Inside Story,” For those of you who don’t know us, Kirtas is a provider of digitization systems and services, including the first-ever automated page turning book scanner.
In the 18 months I’ve been with the company, it’s amazing to see how book scanning and digitizing have gone from a “nice to have” to a necessity. The need to to preserve hundreds of years worth of books, manuscripts, academic journals, legal documents, and records grows by the day. And while preservation and access are driving forces behind many digitization efforts, Sony and Amazon have done their part to make digitization relevant and digital books mainstream driving the demand even more.
We hope that you’ll be able to get to know us better. And of course, we hope you’ll help us get to know you better! We’ll also be introducing you to other Kirtas team members and sharing some unique and interesting stories about what we’ve encountered in our time at Kirtas and why we love what we do!