Imagine owning a copy of Galileo's 1632 book, Dialogo di Galileo Galilei (Galileo's Dialogue), challenging the traditional thinking that the universe revolves around the earth. At the time, the book and its concepts were so controversial, that Galileo was convicted of heresy in 1633 and the book was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.
Or perhaps a first-edition, autographed copy of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine is a more suitable choice for your own personal library?
These books and more will be made available to the public, beginning this fall, through a unique partnership between Canada's McMaster University Library and U.S.-based companies Kirtas Technologies, Inc. and Lulu.com.
With the support of Kirtas' Canadian reseller Ristech, McMaster University will be using the Kirtas APT BookScan 2400RA to digitize rare, out-of-print books. Once the books are digitized and processed, files will be made available to the world on the Internet through the university library and for sale as print-on-demand books on Lulu.com.
"We have significant collections that we would like to make more widely accessible through digitization," said Jeffrey Trzeciak, University Librarian at McMaster University. "The digitization technology provided by Kirtas, the support and service we receive from Ristech, and the ability of Lulu to pull it all together increases both the electronic availability and the availability of the books in print for those who choose print on demand."
As the publisher of these unique books, the Library also hopes to generate revenue through the print-on-demand service.
"We see more and more universities taking advantage of the print-on-demand option that is enabled through the digitization process," said Kirtas Founder and CEO Lotfi Belkhir. "Not only are these institutions sharing their unique collections, but they are also creating a revenue stream that allows them to reinvest in their access and preservation efforts."