British Library makes Google search deal

Published: 21 June 2011 y., Tuesday

Thousands of pages from one of the world's biggest collections of historic books, pamphlets and periodicals are to be made available on the internet.

The British Library has reached a deal with search engine Google about 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th Century.

It will allow readers to view, search and copy the out-of-copyright works at no charge on both the library and Google books websites.

The library gets more than a million visitors a year.

The works selected to be digitised date from between 1700 and 1870, and the project will take some years to complete, with Google covering the costs of digitising.

Google has similar partnerships with about 40 libraries around the world.

Google's plan to digitise copyrighted texts has run into serious legal problems in the US. Among critics were the Authors Guild of America and the Association of American Publishers.

The digitised works are just a small fraction of the library's collection which totals more than 150 million items representing every age of written civilisation, including books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.

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