Google Books @ UGent

In a nutshell

Google started digitizing the Booktower's out-of-copyright books by the end of 2007, bringing some of the greatest works of Dutch and French literature to millions of people globally. As one of Belgium's largest libraries, the Ghent University Library will greatly increase the number of Dutch and French-language books available through the Google Book Search Library Project. Through this partnership, hundreds and thousands of books will be added to the program, from well-loved classics to rare and special collections previously only available to those able to consult the library 's stacks. Once the books have been digitized, it will be easy for anyone to discover, search and read them on the

Google Books copyright settlement

This lawsuit involves the Google Library Project. In 2004, Google announced that it had entered into agreements with several libraries to digitize books, including books protected by U.S. copyright law, in those libraries' collections. Several authors and publishers brought this lawsuit against Google, claiming that its digitization without permission infringed their copyrights. In response to the authors' and publishers. claims of copyright infringement, Google argued that its digitization of the books and display of snippets, or a few lines, of the books is permitted under the U.S. copyright law's doctrine of "fair use." Instead of resolving the legal dispute over whether Google's digitization and display of the books is permissible under U.S. law as a "fair use," the parties negotiated a settlement.


  • Where are the books being scanned ?
    The exact location is kept secret. But it is a place in Western Europe, not China or India...
  • How are the books being scanned ?
    The working details are secret. But all necessary precautions are being taken not to damage the books...
  • What's the cost to the library ?
    Google scans the books for free. The University Library invests time and effort in describing the books, in picking them from the shelves, in preparing shipments, etc.
  • Does the library get a copy of the digital version ?
  • Which books will be scanned ?
    All printed books out of copyright. These include primarily books and selected manuscripts dating from before 1872 and works printed before 1942 of which the author has died more than 70 years ago. In total some 300.000 volumes.
  • Which UGent books are available via Google Books ?
    Find all books that have been scanned or will be scanned in the near future via They are available online now or will become available shortly.