Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008 Current Events

New Digital Library Started Its Work


It looks like Europeana is going to become a serious competitor of Google. This new digital library was launched by the European Union this Thursday. Now with a single click of your mouse you can get access to the world's cultural heritage.

The website ( ) provides an impressive multi-lingual collection of two million books and other digitized items that were treasured in European museums and archives. This is just the beginning. By 2010 you'll be able to find about 10 million items at this unique online library.

"Europeana offers a journey through time, across borders, and into new ideas of what our culture is. More than that, it will connect people to their history and, through interactive pages and tools, to each other," said Viviane Reding, EU Information Society Commissioner.

The popularity of Europeana grows with incredible speed. It had 10 million visitors just in an hour. This fact demonstrates that people are really interested in the new project.

Jill Cousins, Europeana's director, explained that Europeana was not developed with the gold of competing with Google. Its mission is to offer people a reliable source of information provided by serious institutions with long-standing reputation.

Speaking about Google's reaction to the project, it should be mentioned that it was quite positive. Santiago de la Mora, head of Google's book partnerships in Europe, said that such projects show that it's very important to provide public access to the world funds of knowledge and authors, editors as well as technology enterprises can do it together.

The question of copyright remains vital. Google in its turn paid $125 to sign a contract with authors and publishing firms. In order to evade this problem, Europeana will offer works of public ownership at the first stage. As the European Commission said, negotiations with rights holders are under way and very soon copyright works will replenish the library's stock.

Source: #

Posted by sharaeff

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