Tag Archives: Google Books

European libraries and Google cooperate in digitization

Google supports more and more activities in digitization of cultural heritage. Since the beginning of this year, Google announced agreements under which the collections of Europe’s largest libraries will be digitized and made available via Google Books.

An agreement with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage was announced in March. It covers cooperation with the National Libraries of Florence and Rome in order to digitize up tu million out-of-copyright works.

Next was an agreement with the Austrian National Library to digitize up to 400 000 public domain books. These include works from Poland, since this library has about 1800 Polish titles.

In July, Google announced an agreement with National Library of the Netherland, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Google will scan more than 160 000 public domain books.

In all cases the librarians will select works for digitization. Google will digitize these books and make theme available via Google Books. They will be available for anyone in the world with connection to the Internet. It is important that libraries will receive copies of the scans. Thanks to this digital copies can be made available via library web pages and archived for long term. In addition the digital books will be available via Europeana.

Google supports Europeana?

Yesterday Google announced an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Culture, allowing this company to digitise up to a million of public domain objects, located in Rome and Florence National Libraries. The selection of objects for digitisation will be made by librarians.

While announcing this agreement, Google also referred to Europeana, showing its support for this initiative:

Digitization of books is a tremendous undertaking, requiring the joint effort of a great number of public and private stakeholders. For this reason, we’re supportive of many other efforts at digitization, such as the European Commission’s Europeana. We want to see these books have the broadest reach possible — the books we scan are available for inclusion in Europeana, of which the Florence Library is a contributing member, and other digital libraries. The more of the world’s historical, cultural treasures we can bring online, the more we can unlock our shared heritage.

In this context it is worth to notice, that the creation of Europenana was initiated as activities in some sense competitive to the Google Books project, which was initially focused on mass digitisation of books, newspapers etc. written only in English.