Cornell University Library Partners with the Internet Archive

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Contact: Gwen Glazer
Phone:  (607) 254-8390
E-mail: gglazer@cornell.edu

Cornell University Library Partners with the Internet Archive
Nearly 80,000 Public-Domain Books Available Free Online

ITHACA, N.Y. (Dec. 15, 2009) – In an effort to make its materials globally accessible, Cornell University Library is sharing tens of thousands of digitized books with the Internet Archive.

“We have been carefully preserving and storing materials for years, and now we’re diversifying the channels for them to be studied and used,” said Oya Rieger, associate university librarian for information technologies. “We have the ability to take books to the places where readers are.”

The new collaboration repurposes nearly 80,000 books that the Library has already digitized in-house or through its partnership with Microsoft and Kirtas Technologies. All the books are in the public domain, printed before 1923 mainly in the United States. They cover a host of subject areas, including American history, English literature, astronomy, food and wine, general engineering, the history of science, home economics, hospitality and travel, labor relations, Native American materials, ornithology, veterinary medicine and women's studies.

Internet Archive, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving materials in all formats and well known for its “Wayback Machine” application, includes the Library’s digitized collection in its searchable database. Books are available for free in multiple formats, including PDF, flip book and full text on-screen. Nearly 750,000 users are registered on the site.

“Expanding access to knowledge is one of the Library’s core principles, and we are excited to participate in the open-access vision of the Internet Archive,” said Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian.

The collaboration with Internet Archive is another step in Cornell University Library’s cutting-edge participation in mass digitization initiatives. Earlier this year, the Library announced an expanded print-on-demand partnership with Amazon.com that allows readers to pay for reprinting of books on an individual basis.

“The Internet Archive is proud to process and host the books from Cornell — these collections are priceless,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive. “We are happy that Microsoft put no restrictions on the scanned public domain books and Cornell is encouraging maximum readership and research use.”

Performing a simple search for one of Cornell University Library’s digitized books now brings up both a copy on Amazon and a free online copy on the Internet Archive.

For more information and to see Cornell University Library’s contributions, visit http://archive.org/details/cornell.

About Cornell University Library
Cornell University is both an Ivy League institution and New York's land-grant university. Among the top 10 academic research libraries in the country, Cornell University Library reflects the university's distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and facilities, a full spectrum of services, extensive collections that represent the depth and breadth of the university, and a deep network of digital resources. Its impact reaches beyond campus boundaries with initiatives that extend the land grant mission to a global focus. To learn more, visit http://library.cornell.edu.

About the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a nonprofit library based in San Francisco that specializes in offering broad public access to digitized and born-digital books, music, movies and Web pages. Please visit http://archive.org and http://openlibrary.org.

Nearly 80,000 public-domain books available free online