GOOGLE to Digitize Quarter of a Million Books from British Library

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 9:54pm

LONDON— Google can add one more thing under their belt— or should it be, library.


Google plans to digitize a quarter of a million books from the British Library's collection.

All books were published between 1700 and 1870. Google will be paying for the cost of the digitization.

The search engine has already scanned 13 million books through other partnerships with more than 40 libraries worldwide. The content inside the books will be available through its search results.

A spokesperson for Google said this will allow literature to become easily accessible to more people than ever before.

"So we've now got more than two billion people online right across the world,” said Peter Barron, Google's Head of External Relations. “In many cases those people are getting online with mobile devices. They may never have had any access to books or the world's information before and the prospect of now being able to read some of the world's incredible books is a fantastic achievement."

Before teaming up with Google, the British Library had partnered with Microsoft, which led to the digitization of 65-million 19th century books.

The goal of the library is to have as much of its collection of 150 million items online and available to the world by 2020.   

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