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Bavarian State Library and Google celebrate 10 years of partnership

October 6th, 2017

Ten years ago the venerable Bavarian State Library from Munich (BSB) and the comparatively young Google started their joint adventure: the digitization of hundreds of thousands of historical writings from the archives of the BSB and its Bavarian regional libraries. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of our collaboration, we’ve published a digital exhibition on Google Arts & Culture.

The BSB looks back on almost 500 years of history. In 1558 it was founded by Duke Albrecht V. With more than 10 million volumes, 61,000 current journals and 130,000 manuscripts, the library is one of the most important knowledge centers in the world.

To preserve that heritage, BSB has been working with Google since 2007 to digitize over 1.9 million copyright-free titles—such as books, maps and magazines—from the 17th to the end of the 19th century. Thanks to this partnership, BSB is now the largest digital database of all German libraries. The project has long been expanded and now covers the holdings of the ten regional state libraries such as Regensburg, Passau or Augsburg.

Not only for us at Google this clearly is a milestone in digitization and the prototype of a public-private partnership. Klaus Ceynowa, Managing Director of BSB, adds: “Content in context is our mantra. Google has played a major role in helping us achieve it!”

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Tausend und eine Nacht : arabische Erzählungen, One Thousand and One Nights: Arabic stories" (1872), Weil, Gustav
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“Atlas Minor: Ein kurtze jedoch gründtliche Beschreibung der gantzen Welt und aller ihrer Theyl” (1631), Gerard Mercator
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“The lion” - Illustration from “The small menagerie - drawings of the most extraordinary wild animals” (1854)
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“The Zeitgeist and the people, a mirror of the sins of the world: An Octoberfest-Sermon” (1835)