Scanning a Braille Playboy

Jason Scott guest-posted on the Internet Archive blog last night, and he wrote about how he got the IA to scan and archive an old copy of Playboy.

Why do it? Curiosity, for one. When compared to most books scanned by the IA, this is an unusual challenge. I wouldn’t  have been sure that the scanning process would work on braille, or that the output would be legible.But apparently I underestimated the expertise of the IA.

I’ve never seen one before and I always wondered what it looked like. I’m not sure that this one came through  all that well. The subtle physical differences in the height of the dots aren’t easy to see onscreen.

You can find the copy on There’s no centerfold, so anyone who subscribes to the braille edition of Playboy clearly got it for the articles.

via IA

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. […] The growing collection is due in large part to the one hundred+ people who work in IA scanning centers in 27 libraries in 6 countries.   The IA are also making an effort to archive hard disks, film, websites, and other modern storage mediums, as well as preserving the books that have been scanned. (While you might think that a hard disk is more durable than a paper book, the latter can actually have a longer lifespan.) If you look through their collection carefully, you can also find the occasional odd item like the hard disk from a 1970s Cray supercomputer, or a braille Playboy. […]

  2. […] told you about the Braille Playboy they digitized and the 1970′s harddisk that was scanned and placed online. Some time back i […]

  3. […] folks who digitized a braille Playboy have just released the archived copy of a CDC 9877 disk pack. This was an 80 MB removable hard disk […]

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