By Dennis Abrams
The National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and Google Netherlands, which began in 2011 to digitize 160,000 books from the library’s collection, yesterday announced that 80,000 of those titles have been scanned and are now available to the public.
The collection, which includes historical, legal and social Dutch publications from the 18th century, are said to be of great interest to scientists and researchers. The digitized books are “full text” searchable and available for free through Google Books as well as the web service boeken.kb.nl.
Sandy Decker, Secretary of Education, Culture and Science said, “This is a good example of public-private cooperation. The KB can charge a substantial part of the digitization of its collection, and Google Book Search acquires quality content. The big winner, though, is the audience, especially scientists, which has much better access to the collection of our national library.”
Bas Savenjie, Director General of the KB added, “the Royal Library is the National Library of the Netherland with the responsibility of providing everyone, everywhere, with digital access to all the books that have been published in the Netherlands…Given the large number of publications in our rich collection, that is not easy. The collaboration with Google gives us the opportunity to accelerate the digitization of our collection in order to ensure and enhance optimum access to a unique collection of…work from the 18th and 19th centuries.
And finally, the director of Google Netherlands, Pim van der Feltz, said, “Our joint project with the Royal Library fits within our aim to maximize the world’s books searchability and accessibility via the Internet and help make all knowledge available. That today half of this historical work is now freely accessible is a milestone in our cooperation with the KB.”