Columbia University Libraries and the Internet Archive have signed an agreement to digitize microfilm of approximately 40,000 public domain books and journals. The Libraries created the microfilm over the past two decades with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities inorder to preserve the content of deteriorating, brittle volumes.
"It is exciting that the investment in the preservation microfilming of these extraordinary resources will now enable global availability and use. Columbia values this partnership with the Internet Archive," James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and Columbia University Librarian said.
The digitization project will work gradually through microfilm in the subjects of Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance history and literature, and American and European economic and labor history.
"American tax-payers funded the making of these microfilms, so we are very pleased that the digital versions will be freely available to everyone on the Internet Archive's site," Janet Gertz, Director of the Preservation and Digital Conversion Division of the Libraries and administrator of the Libraries' side of the project, said.
The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, founded in 1996 to build an Internet library that offers researchers, historians, and scholars permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format.The Internet Archive includes text, audio, moving images, and software, as well as archived web pages, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities. More information is available at http://www.archive.org
Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.