Google partnered with the British Library June 20 to bring 250,000 out-of-print books to the computers of academic researchers and others interested in works from 1700 to 1870.
a deal with the British Library to scan 250,000 books that are out of
copyright, part of the search engine's ongoing mission to organize the world's
books online and make them available to users.
Intended to help
literary scholars and other parties interested in academic pursuits, the
project includes printed books, pamphlets and periodicals published from 1700
to 1870. Google will deliver the content, which covers up to 40 million pages,
free through the Google Books service.
students and others will be able to view historical material, and download,
share and manipulate content for "non-commercial purposes," the
British Library said in a statement
cover important inventions such as railroad travel, the telegraph, and the
first combustion engine-driven submarine, as well as the end of slavery and the
French and Industrial Revolutions.
assume the cost of digitizing the works, which will be available for full text
search, download and reading via Google Books. The content will also be searchable
through the British Library's Website and stored in the library's digital
declined to say what the cost of scanning and storing the books was, adding
that it was a "substantial sum."
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," said British Library Chief
Executive Dame Lynne Brindley in a statement, noting that this is a major
departure from buying books and making them available in reading rooms.
works to be digitized in the corpus include feminist pamphlets about Queen
Marie-Antoinette (1791) and a story about a stuffed hippopotamus owned by the
Prince of Orange (1775).
To this point,
Google has scanned more than 13 million books from more than 40 libraries
worldwide through Google Books.
However, it has
reached a roadblock
in trying to get a U.S. district court to get it to agree that its proposed
settlement to put millions of orphaned, out-of-print books online was in the
best interest of the publishing industry.
District Court Judge Denny Chin in March said the deal "would give Google
a de facto monopoly over unclaimed works" and concluded the deal was
unfair to rights holders whose copyrighted works would be served online without
The DOJ, as
well as Google rivals Amazon, Microsoft and others, opposed the deal.