The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is joining the successful collaboration between the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and Google. Over the next two years, Google will be digitising 100,000 unique, often centuries-old books from the UvA's library.
All the books will be made freely available online around the world through Delpher and Google. The partnership has been formalised in a collaborative agreement signed by Bas Savenije, Director General of the KB, and Louise Gunning-Schepers, president of the UvA’s Executive Board.
Google launched a massive digitisation project more than 10 years ago, and has now made about 30 million titles available to everyone online. For several years now, the KB has been aiming to make every published item in the Netherlands available in a digital format. Working with Google has greatly accelerated this digitisation and the partnership with the UvA will once again significantly boost the effort. Once digitised, the books will be freely available through Google and Delpher - the joint portal for accessing Dutch digital books, newspapers and magazines, set up by the KB and the UvA's library, along with other partners.
All of the UvA books being digitised over the next two years are copyright-free – as they are from before 1874 – and are stored in the Special Collections at the Oude Turfmarkt.
The Special Collections hold internationally renowned collections in book history, Jewish culture, church history, cartography, literature, graphic design and zoology. The books that are to be digitised include many unique titles such as Project om het water door de stad Amsterdam te doen loopen als een loopende rivier by Gerrit ten Sande from 1765, and the Tractatus theologico-politicus by Benedictus de Spinoza from 1670.
The National Library of the Netherlands aims to bring together people and information, and endeavours to digitise all books, newspapers and magazines that have been published in the Netherlands.
The University Library is charged with ensuring that information in support of teaching and research is made available and accessible to students and staff at the UvA, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS/HvA) and other interested parties.