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.