Monday, August 03, 2009

New Life for Old Books

Cambridge University Press has announced a new digital initiative, according to an article in today's Inside Higher Ed. In a partnership with the Cambridge University Library, the Press, which has been operating since 1584, will scan and reprint original copies. The project, dubbed "Books of Enduring Scholarly Value," calls initially for scanning 475 volumes from the Cambridge University Library's rare book collection, and then for scanning an additional 1,000 books by the end of 2009. The books will be sold on demand for $15 to $25 per volume. The article reviews similar projects to digitize and sell on demand books from the University of Michigan and Cornell University library collections. Participants were asked whether the on-demand print programs would reduce the value of the physical library because potential users would no longer have to travel to use materials. They were unanimous in the opinion that accessibility was the most important consideration in digitizing their collections.

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