In January 2011 the KB reached an agreement with the British company Proquest to digitize early printed books from the special collections in the coming years. After the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze in Italy, the KB is the third national library in Europe that takes part in ProQuest’s Early European Books project.
The selection consists of books from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century. Initially, all books printed in the Netherlands in this period are digitized. Whether other pre-1700 books are eligible for digitization will be explored later in the project.
The project reflects the ambitions of the KB to digitize all Dutch books, newspapers and journals from 1470 onwards. Scanning by ProQuest will take place in the KB-building so this valuable collection will not have to leave the building.
The digitized material will be freely available in the Netherlands via the ProQuest service EarlyEuropean Books.
Digitization has started in the spring of 2011, the first results were presented in August 2011.
More information: Marieke van Delft.