Google announced on Monday that it will cooperate with British Library to digitize 250,000 out-of-copyright books to make all of the knowledge contained within the world's books searchable online.
The materials that will be digitized include books, pamphlets and periodicals from 1700 to 1870 in several European languages. Readers will be able to view, copy, and share the text for non-commercial uses.
Google will pay for all the scanning work. Besides British Library, Google has also cooperated with over 40 libraries to scan their materials. And the search engine has been trying to digitize out-of-print books, which remain protection under copyright law.
British Library also had agreement with Microsoft Corp to make 65,000 books available online.
This win-win project makes both sides profitable.
We are delighted to be partnering with Google on this project and through this partnership believe that we are building on this proud tradition of giving access to anyone, shared Dame Lynne Brindley, the chief executive of British Library.
“The public domain material is an important part of the world’s heritage and we’re proud to be working with the British Library to open it up to millions of people in the U.K. and abroad,” Google spokesman Peter Barron said in a statement.
It can be expected that numerous readers around the world will visit Google to research materials. And that will translate into revenue as Google's main revenue source is online ads.