Het aanbod ligt er…
What are the challenges faced by the Internet Archive regarding the digitization of books?
There are two big problems: there is going and building a digital collection, either by digitizing materials or buying electronic books. And the other is: how do you make this available, especially the in-copyright works? For digitizing books, it costs about 10 cents a page to do a beautiful rendition of a book. So, for approximately 30 dollars a book for 300 pages you can do a gorgeous job. Google does it much more quickly and it costs only about 5 dollars for each book. So it really is much less expensive in less quality, but they are able to do things at scale. We digitize about 1000 books every day in 23 scanning centers in six countries. We will set up scanning centers anywhere, or, if there are people that would like to staff the scanners themselves, we provide the scanners and all of the backend processing for free, until we run out of scanners and we’ve got a bunch of them. So we’re looking either for people that want to scan their own collections by providing there own labour or they can employ us to do it and all told it is 10 cent a page to complete. (…)
Are there already cooperations between European libraries and the Internet Archive, and are scanners already located in Europe which could be used for digitization projects in university or national libraries?
Yes, we have scanners now in London and in Edinburgh – the Natural History Museum and the national library – where we are digitizing now. We would like to have more scanners in more places so that anybody that would be willing to staff one, keep it busy for 40 hours each week, we will provide all of the technology for free or we can go and cooperate and we can hire the people and operate these scanning centers. We find that scanning centers – i.e. 10 scanners – can scan 30.000 books in a year and it costs about 10 cents a page. It is very efficient and very high quality. This is including fold outs and difficult materials as well. And it is working right within the libraries, so the librarians have real access to how the whole process is going and what is digitized. It is really up to the libraries. The idea is to get the libraries online as quickly as possible and without the restrictions that come with corporations. (…)
You mentioned Google Books. There are agreements between libraries and Google for digitizing materials. What are the benefits for libraries of choosing the Internet Archive over Google Books?
Google offers to cover the costs of the labor to do the digitization, but the libraries that participated ended up paying a very large amount of money just trying to prepare the books and get them to Google. Often they spent more working with Google than they would have with the Internet Archive, and in the latter case they do not have restrictions on their materials. So Google digitizes even public domain materials and then puts restrictions on their re-use. Everybody that says that it is open has got to mean something bizarre by ‘open’. You can not go and take hundreds of these and move them to another server, it is against the law and Google will stop libraries that try to make these available to people and moving the books from place to place, so this is quite unfortunate.
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