First Japanese library joins Google's digitisation programme

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Keio University in Japan will partner with Google Book Search Library Project to digitise its library collection and release it to the world. This project is part of the university's 150th birthday celebrations. Keio University will be the first partner outside USA and Europe.

Keio University says that it is currently initiating a 'hybrid' library service to fulfil the needs of both analogue and digital users of the library, and it hopes that this partnership will help accelerate these efforts.

Keio University will digitise about 120,000 books that are out of copyright and will release their contents to the world via Google Book Search. These books will mainly consist of Japanese-style books published in the Meiji era or earlier, and Japanese books of the Meiji, Taisho and early Showa eras. Preparation will start in the summer of 2007, and digitisation is expected to start in 2008.