For offering knowledge accessibility to all, the National Library of France decided to facilitate cultural heritage access to its audience. A recognized civic engagement but the public library sees its limits with the use of photocopiers: the old or bound books wore out quickly (face down, crushing) and you can’t see what is printed or scanned. It is clear that a image capture from the top is the most suitable technique. Thus, from 2009, the National Library of France becomes the first public institution in the world to equip themselves with eScan Open System book scanners, innovative scanning solutions developed by i2S respectful of all works, for replacing photocopiers.
Through the outsourcing company Sedeco, the National Library of France is equipped first – in 2009 – with 12 eScan book scanners first generation, the first self-service book scanner on the market easy to use and ergonomic. Installed on 4 sites of the National Library of France, these 12 scanning solutions allow the public to ask a local operator to make a copy of an excerpt of a work in high-quality then printed (single output mode authorized by the institution at that time).
The + : digitization up to A3+ format, easy to move, combersome, can be installed on any support
With the success of its service, the National Library of France decided in 2014 to renew its outsourcing park, and to increase the number of scanners. Appreciating the features already existing in the eScan first generation, the library therefore wishes to change the use of scanners leaving some with direct access to readers (scanning by ourself). To accommodate both public heterogeneous users and a wide range of works, the imposed criteria for choosing a scanner were:
- Real time preview
- Scanning area up to 560 x 400 mm (22” x 15.7”)
- Multiple outputs: Printing (book scanner connected to any printing machine) and back up on any USB key existing on the market
- Directly paying the copy (book scanner connected to a card reading machine)
- Digitizing in color or in grey
Despite the evolution of smartphones’ performances and strong competition in book scanner, i2S and its partner Spigraph  have gained again SEDECO’s confidence and installed 18 eScan Open System book scanners (new generation) on the 4 same sites of the National Library of France, including 9 scanners in total self-service on the Tolbiac site.
What made the difference : i2S is distinguished from all its direct and indirect competitors through:
- image quality offered by the i2S camera,
- real time preview in color, highly appreciated (essential and convenient) by users for missing no scan,
- large scanning area (560 x 400 mm)
- Tobiac site (François Mitterrand) : printings from XVIth to XXIth centuries, 700 000 volumes, 10 000 000 books and 350 000 periodical titles, 385 000 linear meters of book shelving
- Richelieu site : + 10 000 medieval manuscripts, 2 700 000 volumes of divers printings (books, periodicals and collections), manuscripts and documents from performing arts, 1 600 000 cards and plans, 12 000 000 drawings and photographies, 1 220 000 Western and Eastern manuscripts
- Arsenal site: library specialized in literature and History, 7 000 books in self-service and a collection including thousands of periodicals, drawings, manuscripts, cards and sheets music
- Opéra site : museum-library specialized in music including also Opéra de Paris archives and Dancing international archives, preserving near 600 000 divers documents (books, periodicals, sheets music, booklets, programme brochures, drawings etc.)
source : Wikipedia