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Cornell Library to make more than 80,000 older books available free online

Cornell University Library will share tens of thousands of digitized books with the Internet Archive. The new collaboration will repurpose more than 80,000 books the library has already digitized in-house or through a partnership with Microsoft and Kirtas Technologies.

All the books are in the public domain, printed before 1923 mainly in the United States. They include such subject areas as American history, English literature, astronomy, food and wine, general engineering, the history of science, home economics, hospitality and travel, human sexuality, labor relations, Native American materials, ornithology, veterinary medicine, and women's studies.

"Expanding access to knowledge is one of the library's core principles, and we are excited to participate in the open-access vision of the Internet Archive," said Anne R. Kenney, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian.

The nonprofit Internet Archive began by preserving snapshots of the Web over time, available through its "Wayback Machine." It now also includes texts, audio, moving images and software. Nearly 750,000 users are registered on the site. The library's digitized collection will be included in its searchable database.

Earlier this year, Cornell Library announced an expanded print-on-demand partnership with that allows readers to pay to obtain printed copies of the digitized books. Performing a search on the Cornell Library site for one of the books will now bring up both a copy on Amazon and a free online copy on the Internet Archive. Books in the archive are available in multiple formats, including PDF, flip book and full text on screen.

"These collections are priceless," said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive. "We are happy that Microsoft put no restrictions on the scanned public domain books, and Cornell is encouraging maximum readership and research use."

For more information and to see Cornell University Library's contributions, visit

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Joe Schwartz