British Library prepares for digital books

The British Library predicts a sweeping switch from print to digital publishing by 2020.

Speaking at the launch of the Library’s national strategy Chief Executive Lynne Brindley said a study commissioned by the Library projects that by 2020 50 per cent of publications will be available in both print and digital, while a mere 10 per cent of new titles will be available in print alone.

“This is a seismic shift, and one that we — and our partners in the publishing and information industries — need 2020 vision to prepare for in order to maintain Britain’s competitiveness across all sectors, from business to the arts, from science to education and culture.”

I’ve said it before, but the British Library rocks the free world by providing, among other things, online images of Chaucer’s Canturbury Tales, as printed in the mid-1400’s, and “93 copies of the 21 plays by William Shakespeare printed in quarto before the theatres were closed in 1642.”

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