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Belgian royal library teams up with Google to digitise books

15:05 17/03/2024

The Royal Library of Belgium (KBR) and Google Books are joining forces to digitise parts of KBR’s collection, significantly increasing the number of books in the library's collections available online by 2026.

“As part of a partnership first launched in 2022, 100,000 books, some of which date back to the 17th century, will be freely accessible over the coming years via the KBR digital library and Google Books,” a join statement explained.

A total of 30,000 to 40,000 books will be digitised each year.

The first delivery truck left KBR for Google Books' European digitisation site last week, and a shipment of books will be organised every eight weeks to reach the annual target.

With this initiative, the library aims to make its public collections even more accessible.

“This partnership represents a unique opportunity to enrich the descriptions of part of the catalogue of the Royal Library of Belgium and to considerably expand its online offering and, consequently, its service to the public,” said KBR director-general Sara Lammens.

“I am delighted to see this partnership come to fruition, in line with our desire to make the knowledge and heritage we preserve accessible to as wide an audience as possible. It’s also fully in line with our priority of facilitating research in the humanities and social sciences.”

Written by Helen Lyons