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Friday, December 16, 2005

Google to scan Bodleian

No sooner do I get steamed up about Wal-Mart than I read of Google's plan to scan the books in the Bodleian.

The two stories give off a similar chilling ring, and well may the UK's Publishers Association be concerned.

The Bodleian buildings began in 1613, at the bequest of former Oxford student Thomas Bodley - which should make the spelling 'Bodleyan', I'd have thought, but there you go.

.It's the second largest library in the UK (after the British Library in London)and receives a copy of every new book printed in Britain, a practice that began in 1610, so that the library contains an unrivaled 400 year record of British literature.

It's unique in that it is not a lending library - no books can be borrowed, only read on the premises.

The Bodleian takes this restriction seriously; in a famous case, King Charles I was refused permission to borrow a book.

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