More than a million Asian books going onlineTOKYO - Korea, Japan and China have agreed to launch an online library with content from the countries’ national libraries.
According to the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun yesterday, the three countries have agreed to sign a deal next month to launch an electronic library in the next year or two. It will be the first Asian digital library to transcend national borders.
At launch, users will be able to read books from each library anywhere, with interfaces in Korean, Japanese and Chinese. Users will be able to search by word or phrase, and read all the content in their mother tongues thanks to an automatic translation system.
The content will come from the electronic databases of each of the national libraries. At the moment, the National Library of Korea has digitized 210,000 of its books. Japan has digitized 720,000 and China 160,000.
According to the Japanese national library, the idea was first raised during the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutes meeting in South Africa in 2007. The three libraries agreed to the project last year during a conference in Milan. A final agreement will be signed next month.
Other such international electronic library projects include Europeana, a search platform of European digital libraries launched by the European Commission, as well as the World Digital Library, operated by Unesco and the U.S. Library of Congress. China and Japan provide electronic content to the World Digital Library.
By Park So-young [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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