Expatica news

University library goes digital

26 November 2007

GHENT – Ghent University Library has teamed up with the internet search engine Google in a deal that in time will make 300,000 books from the library’s catalogue available to all via the World Wide Web.

Ghent will be the first Belgian university library to make its collection available on-line.

The East Flemish university is following the example set by a number of prestigious academic institutions abroad, such as Britain’s Oxford University and Harvard in the United States. Soon anyone logging on to Google Book Search will be able to find digital versions of many of the books available in the famous Book Tower on Ghent’s Blandijnberg.

Readers can use Google Book Search to find titles by the use of keywords. The university intends to make as wide a range of titles as possible available.

However, only books that are no longer subject to copyright will be digitalised. Ghent University’s Head Librarian Sylvia Van Peteghem told the daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ that “copyright becomes obsolete 70 years after an author has died”.

“In total 16% of our titles are to be scanned in and put on-line”.

Ghent University will be the first to make a large number of Dutch-language books available.

Ghent will also be only the second academic institution in the world (after BCU Lausanne in Switzerland) to make a large collection of French books available on the net.

The cost of the whole operation is being paid for by Google.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news