Feeds

British Library hands 200 years of history to Google

40 million pages

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The British Library is handing 250,000 books to Google for scanning into the Google Books project.

The Library had previously partnered with Microsoft which digitised books from the 19th century and Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. The Library only owned one of the notebooks - the second was from Bill Gates' own collection.

The Google slurp will see 40 million pages scanned and made available on Google's site and through the British Library. All the works are out of copyright - Google's scanning of in-copyright books has caused trouble in the past. The search giant pays the cost of scanning.

Material includes books, pamphlets and magazines from 1700 to 1870 in several European languages.

The scanned books will also be available through the Europeana site, funded by the European Commission.

Dame Lynne Brindley, chief executive of BL, said: “In the nineteenth century it was an ambition of our predecessors to give everybody access to as much of the world’s information as possible, to ensure that knowledge was not restricted to those who could afford private libraries. The way of doing it then was to buy books from the entire world and to make them available in Reading Rooms.

"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,"

Alongside the Google deal, the library is continuing work with Brightsolid, a subsidiary of DC Thomson, to digitise its newspaper collection. That deal was heavily criticised for effectively handing Brightsolid a monopoly.

We've asked the British Library what the financial implications of the deal are and why it dropped Microsoft, and we'll update the story should we hear back.

A spokesman for the British Library said the deal with Microsoft was simply different and there was no question of scale problems with its technology. He said the material scanned by Google would be free for users to access but Google was free to advertise alongside the content.

The British Library press release is here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.