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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Google to scan 400,000 Austrian library books

"Austria's national library has struck a 30-million-euro deal with US Internet giant Google to digitise 400,000 copyright-free books, a vast collection spanning 400 years of European history. Johanna Rachinger, the head of the ONB library, hailed what she called an "important step," arguing at a news conference that "there are few projects on such a scale elsewhere in Europe." The Austrian library project concerns one of the world's five biggest collections of 16th- to 19th-century literature, totalling some 120 million pages, the ONB said in a statement. Under the deal, Google will cover the costs of digitising the collection - set at around 50 to 100 euros (60 to 120 dollars) per book - a sum the library says it was unable to raise without external funding. The ONB will pay to prepare the books for scanning, store the book data, and provide public access to it. Scanning work is to begin in 2011 in Bavaria in southern Germany, and is expected to last around six years" - AFP

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