I'm sure your suggestion is made with the best of motives, but it really would be a series copyright violation. However, why not get in touch with the ICP to see if there would be interest in them providing such a re-issue. (Or offer your services. For a fee though.) However, to transcribe a whole book would be a bit of a pointless mission. Often, when text books are reprinted in 'classic' cheaper editions, such as out of copyright Charles Dickens paperbacks, each page is simply scanned from an older volume ready to be compiled for printing on press. There is also software that can convert the visual file of the words into a text file, though it needs to be proof read to ensure no letters have been mis-read. However, as the previous comments state, doing it yourself will get you in lots of trouble.
If you haven't seen it, try and get hold of a copy of Limelight by Helen Gee from Abebooks.com which is about her photography gallery/cafe in Greenwich Village in the 50s. Fascinating read. Weegee and lots of others like Steichen, Robert Frank and W. Eugene Smith feature.
Oops. Beaten to it by the above post.