This morning marks the start of another big day for Google Books. After what felt like months of little or no news about its digitization program (except perhaps for updates concerning legal challenges), another breakthrough’s occurred, with the Austrian National Library ready to offer Google access to as many as 400,000 books.
This move won’t prove irrelevant to people who can’t read German (Austria’s official language). A post on the European Public Policy Blog explained, "The library was founded in the fourteenth century, and it was intended to become the universal human library, containing books in German, Greek, Latin, French, and Italian, among other languages. It contains the first ever printed book in Slovene, the oldest known prints in Bulgarian and an extensive collection of Czech and Hungarian works."
What’s more, the Austrian National Library has a handful of papers authored by Gregor Mendel, who’s considered the father of modern genetics, along with Martin Luther’s "first complete translation of the Christian bible." So there really appears to be something for everyone.
Now we just have to play the waiting game again, giving Google a chance to scan everything the library chooses to offer.
Of course, it should also be interesting to see if the company’s able to find additional partners and how the legal disputes turn out, and development in Austria may help Google in those regards.