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LoC to digitize brittle books February 1, 2007

Posted by Jennifer Parsons in Library Stuff, Techie Stuff.
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About time, I say.

Library of Congress to spend $2m to digitize

“…The project supplements other efforts at the Library of Congress along with private companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Those massive book digitization projects, however, have typically shied away from materials in vulnerable conditions.

“The new “Digitizing American Imprints” program seeks to identify best practices for handling and scanning those books and collections, according to its managers…”

A more official link for the actual program itself can be found here.

With all the advances in digital imaging, I’m surprised no one’s gotten around to this before, but that could be a matter of waiting for bureaucracy to catch up to technology.

 It’ll be interesting to see which materials are chosen for preservation (I wonder what the standards for that are?), how they are preserved, and how they are distributed.  Since most “brittle books” have content that is no longer protected by copyright, I wonder how wide the distribution of these digital materials can– or will– get.

 That, and I want a peek at the best practices policy they’re putting together.

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