European libraries face problems in digitalizing





In the early stages of its planning, the European Digital Library held the promise of a counterstrike to Google domination of digital archives through the search engine's vast book search project and powerful alliances with American universities.

But as the European project prepares for its debut early next year, the 80 museums, film institutes and national libraries involved are facing the reality of limited government funding for the enormous task of digitizing material, and they are now developing a new realism about striking a variety of alliances with private companies, including national deals with Google.

"The basic problem is that there isn't enough money to digitize everything we want to," said Stephen Bury, head of European and American collections at the British national library, which is digitizing 100,000 out-of-print books from the 19th century with its partner, Microsoft.



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