Google will be digitizing 400,000 copyright free books from the Austrian National Library. The Austrian library project concerns one of the world’s five biggest collections of 16th- to 19th-century literature, totaling some 120 million pages, the ONB said in a statement.
Under the deal, Google will cover the costs of digitizing 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.
The library hopes the process will help preserve its original works, as well as providing digital back-up copies in case of a disaster. Google will not have exclusive use of the scanned books, which will be accessible on the ONB’s website www.onb.ac.at, the Google Books library at books.google.fr and its European counterpart www.europeana.eu, the library director said.