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Google Partners British Library to Digitize Thousands of Books

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A quarter of a million books from the British Library, which houses one of the world’s largest collections, will be digitized by Google as part of a partnership announced yesterday.

The texts, which date back to the 18th Century, will allow readers to view, search and copy them at no charge on both the Google Books and the library websites.


It will take Google a few years to complete digitizing the library’s collection; among the first works slated to go online include a pamphlet about Marie Antoinette and Spanish inventor Narciso Monturiol’s 1858 plans to build the world’s first submarine, the library said in a statement.

“In the 19th Century it was an ambition of our predecessors to give everybody access to as much of the world’s information as possible,” chief executive of the British Library Dame Lynne Brindley said. “The way of doing it then was to buy books from the entire world and to make them available in Reading Rooms.”

”Google’s know-how will enable us to achieve that aim.”

[via British Library]
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