The Associated Press is reporting that many of the Library of Congress' most fragile books will soon be digitized, thanks to a $2 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new project will digitize American history volumes, U.S. genealogy and regimental histories that hold personal collections from the Civil War period, and six collections of rare books including the Benjamin Franklin Collection.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded a $2 million grant to the world's largest library for a program to digitize thousands of works with a major focus on "brittle books." The project supplements other efforts at the Library of Congress along with private companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Those massive book digitization projects, however, have typically shied away from materials in vulnerable conditions.
Scanning is expected to begin within a few months.
My thanks to Julie Kidd for telling me about this new project.