The digital collection of public domain works Google Books maintains is in store for yet another major boost. Google’s struck a deal with the National Library of the Netherlands that will see the search giant gain access to more than 160,000 additional books.
This should bring Google a fair step closer to achieving its goal of organizing the world’s information and making it accessible to everyone. A post on the company’s European Public Policy Blog explained with regards to the first matter, "The books we’ll be scanning constitute nearly the library’s entire collection of out-of-copyright books, written during the 18th and 19th centuries."
And more specifically, "The collection covers a tumultuous period of Dutch history, which saw the establishment of the country’s constitution and its parliamentary democracy. Anyone interested in Dutch history will be able to access and view a fascinating range of works by prominent Dutch thinkers, statesmen, poets and academics and gain new insights into the development of the Netherlands as a nation state."
Then, in terms of accessibility, it turns out that Google and the National Library of the Netherlands intend to make all of the scanned texts available via the European Union’s Europeana portal.
It looks like all sorts of individuals and organizations will benefit from this development, then.
Don’t hold your breath – there are many, many factors at work – but Google might even see an extra perk if the Dutch library’s willingness to cooperate influences the Google Books settlement case.