Google and British Library have entered into an agreement to put thousands of historic books on the web. As per the agreement, readers will be allowed to search, view and download the texts dating back to the eighteenth century. The books will also be made available by Google on its site.
The joint venture between the search giant and British Library will help digitise nearly 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the collection. A British Library press release says that the deal reflects its commitment to increase “access to anyone who wants to do research”.
British Library and Google will work together in near future to make the rare content available through Google Books for free. Google will bear all the digitisation costs. The content includes a wide range of printed books, periodicals and pamphlets dated 17th-18th Century – era that saw French and Industrial revolutions and end of slavery. The content also includes materials in different European languages. The project mainly focusses on content that were not freely available on Internet. [RELATED_ARTICLE]
British Library says the move will ensure the knowledge is not restricted to those who could afford private libraries. Dame Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library, says, “We are delighted to be partnering with Google on this project and through this partnership believe that we are building on this proud tradition of giving access to anyone, anywhere and at any time. Our aim is to provide perpetual access to this historical material, and we hope that our collections coupled with Google’s know-how will enable us to achieve this aim.”
Peter Barron, Director of External Relations, Google, says, “What’s powerful about the technology available to us today isn’t just its ability to preserve history and culture for posterity, but also its ability to bring it to life in new ways. This public domain material is an important part of the world’s heritage and we’re proud to be working with the British Library to open it up to millions of people in the UK and abroad.”