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.

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