At least now I know that I'm not alone in my quest. Like you, I couldn't bear to just throw my library away because I know that as soon as I did, I'll need some tidbit of information from the books. My method started out the same as you using a box-cutter to cut away the covers and cut into sections. That wasn't very time efficient especially when the family chuckled at my quest. I finally purchased a simple low-cost paper cutter. I was able to trim all of the binding glue off the pages and provide a clean, consistent margin for the entire book and still have most of the margin left. I still had to break the books into small stacks of 10-15 sheets; but the margins were all consistent and wouldn't jam in the scanner. I've used both PaperPort and Adobe Acrobat for OCR. If the pages were all straight, then PaperPort would produce a better "text" PDF where it would consider the scan as more text than image and resulted in a smaller PDF. If the pages need straightening, then I always used Adobe which had a much better algorithm. Like you, scanning both sides and then merging was a much better approach especially when pages were missed in the scan. I had the liberty of using the iText library to craft a very simple program to stitch/reverse/combine the PDF files based on the scan particulars. When I scanned data books, I had a lot of text bleed-through from the other side of the page which confused the OCR. Did you have the same issue. Were you able to resolve it or live with it like me?
I'm using a guillotine cutter and a fujitsu scan snap scanner.
Typically, I cut off the back binder with a box cutter, then divide the book into 1/2 inch sections that are then sliced with the guillotine cutter. The pages are then automatically scanned and searchable pdfs generated.
I've done this on about two dozen old data books.
The books get destroyed in the process but the end results are searchable and don't take a lot of space on my bookshelf.
This was suggested to me some time ago. Also a milling machine. I discounted this for two reasons- there would be a lost of paper dust and it could cause problems on the scanner. Secondly the edge is not clean and the scanner that I used had problems with sheets catching on each other and causing a paper jam if the edges weren't clean. Also the pages would bind together, but that also happened with cutting with the cutter.
It was also suggested that I could've used a camera to photograph the pages which is the technique Google uses. It does leave the book intact. Aside from the fact that the suggestion came after the fact, I don't know much about an automatic page turner for that approach.
Use a bandsaw to remove the bindings. Small hobby grade table top version will do in most cases.
Use DjVu to significantly reduce the size of scanned PDF files.
"DjVu (pronounced "déjà vu") is a digital document format with advanced compression technology and high performance value. DjVu allows for the distribution on the Internet and on DVD of very high resolution images of scanned documents, digital documents, and photographs. DjVu viewers are available for the web browser, the desktop, and PDA devices."
You asked about a utility that can output a list from Windows Explorer. I have been using a free utility, Directory List & Print, for some time. It is very convenient, as it can output to a printer, or to Excel or word, or to a text or CSV file. Find it here:http://www.infonautics.ch/directorylistprint/. It also can be downloaded from CNET.
Not England , but New England; esstern Masachusetts.
...how to create a list to a file from Windows Explorer? .
Could be done usingMSDOS commands from the command prompt, or other MSWin scripting, but the Unix style untilites available through Cygwin work wery well for manipulating directory contents and their names. See http://www.cygwin.org/
If you are in England I can put you in touch with someone who does take them and is in the process of scanning them. I am in Canada, so I did not find any taklers and after I cut the spines off though, they weren't much good except for recycling.
Do you have a list of books that you scanned?
No. Does anyone know how to create a list to a file from Windows Explorer? Perhaps there is another Windows utility from a 3rd party. It used to be easier under MS-DOS ridirecting the DIR output to a file. If this can be easily done, then I can get that list.