The Norwegian National Library, which was only established in 1989, has made about 250,000 available for free online. All of the titles were released before the year 2000, and only about 4,000 titles have been reserved by publishers and authors.
The digitization process began back in October 2012 with the launch of Bokhylla (“Bookshelf”). Back then a measly 100,000 books were available for free online. In 2013, the library announced the site had been visited 51 million times in 2012 alone. Considering it was only launched in October and the population of Norway is just over 5 million, that’s pretty incredible.
250,000 titles are available today. This was all accomplished through a partnership between the National Library and Kopinor, which is an organization for writers. Per the agreement, authors currently holding copyrights for their books will get paid to have their works digitized and made available for free. Considering book sales for books published before 2000 are generally not super high, it’s a decent deal for writers and readers alike.
Where are all the books? Oh. Online. | Image Via Wikimedia
Many books are only available to those accessing the digital library in Norway, but those outside the country can apply for access by following this link.
To be honest, though, this is just another reason to move over to Norway. First and foremost, all the best Viking stories come from there. Second of all, they have this now. Anybody want to join?
Feature Image Via Wikipedia