20th March 2024

KBR and Google Books partnership for digitizing 100,000 books

Last week, the first truck of books from the collections of the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) left for the European digitization site of Google Books as part of a partnership announced in 2022, the Secretary of State for Science Policy announced. 100.000 works, some of which date back to the 17th century, will thus be freely accessible in the years to come via Google Books and BELGICA, the KBR digital library. Other institutions in Belgium have also concluded agreements with Google Books. Indeed, the Ghent library (Universiteit Gent) was one of the pioneers to enter into a partnership with Google Books in 2007. In 2020, the Hendrick Conscience heritage library in Antwerp also formalized its participation in Google’s digitization program. In 2022, the Leuven university library (KU Leuven) also announced its partnership for the digitization of some 70,000 books. These Belgian institutions join other large university libraries that work with Google Books such as those of Harvard, Stanford and Oxford.

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