Thursday, May 05, 2005

Prestige economy V money economy

In another salvo of the digital culture wars, six EU countries have developed a plan to create a Euroepan digital library a la Google digitization project. Their goal is to make 4.5M works available electronically lest important European literature be lost to future generations (and yes, I see the irony in digitzation for preservation.)

Of course this will cost many Euros.
"Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker warned the Comedie Francaise meeting that such a massive project would only be possible if sufficient funding was made available."
Before going too far they might want to talk to Hopkins' David Bell about how much of that European literature is going to be part of Google's digitization project. They could probably save significant costs by only digitizing titles not already in the Google project. Of course, then, Google & the Anglo-American libraries would hold the only digital copies and I guess that wouldn't be acceptable either.

In WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO SCHOLARSHIP: The Bookless Future Bell makes the point that the Google project has tons of non Anglo-American content. I've seen it in .pdf and it's very thoughtful. Unfortunately I can't find a real link to an online version because it's from The New Republic Online and we don't seem to subscribe. sigh

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