Tuesday, October 04, 2005

European Commission Announces Plans for Google Digitization Rival

According to a News.com (c|net) article from 3 October 2005:

The European Commission isn't about to sit back and let Google have control over digitizing the world's information--it's planning to turn Europe's "historical and cultural heritage into digital content."

According to an EC announcement on Friday, the aim of the project is to digitize and preserve records of Europe's heritage--including books, film fragments, photographs, manuscripts, speeches and music--and make it available online to all European citizens. To make this happen, the European Union is proposing high-level cooperation between the member states and has set a deadline of Jan. 20, 2006, for first comments on the plans.

The Commission acknowledged that the process of making the resources in Europe's libraries and archives available on the Internet "is not straightforward." It identified three key areas for action: digitization, online accessibility and digital preservation. The Commission also noted that several such initiatives are already under way within Europe, including the Collect Britain project in the United Kingdom, which is backed by the British Library and partly funded by the U.K.'s National Lottery.


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