Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ambitious Dutch Newspaper Digitization Project

Dutch book blog Filip::Books (link added to sidebar) posts on a new announcement by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB, the Dutch Royal Library) that it will undertake the creation of a digital database of "regional, national and colonial newspapers starting at the 17th century." Comprising some 8 million pages and 25 billion words, Filip comments, "This huge database will provide insight into the political, cultural and economic history of the Netherlands and its former colonies. As many book collectors know from their own experience, old documents can be very fragile. This will not only preserve old newspapers, but a database would also allow computerized research into the development of the Dutch language."

While I'd be even more excited about this project if I could read Dutch, it's an excellent endeavor nonetheless and I hope it succeeds.