The Austrian National Library is going to digitise its complete holdings of historical books from the 16th to the 19th century –one of the five internationally most important historical book collections. Around 400.000 public domain works will be available free of charge via the digital library of the Austrian National Library, Google Books, and Europeana, the European digital library. Scholars will find the digitised books in the Austrian National Library’s online catalogue and will be able to access them with a single click, perform full-text searches, read them online or download the entire works.
The Austrian National Library follows the examples of renowned libraries worldwide like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford or the Bavarian State Library (Munich) which have already been collaborating with Google’s Book Search Programme for several years. Google funds the digitisation of the entire book collection of about 120.000.000 pages, the Austrian National Library meets the expenses for the preparation of the books and for storing and making available the digital copies in its digital library.
For the Austrian National Library, the projects contributes to the protection of the Library’s precious historical book collection: “As in many cases it will no longer be necessary to access the original books …”
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