SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. Jan. 14, 2000. netLibrary, the world's premier provider of eBooks over the Internet, today announced a groundbreaking digital text agreement with the University of Virginia Library. The agreement, which calls for numerous works of historical significance to be offered to readers through netLibrary for the first time, was announced today at the American Library Association Midwinter 2000 Conference here.
The agreement forms an alliance between netLibrary and UVA to transfer and preserve historic texts in digital form and distribute them to patrons of academic, special, and public libraries throughout the world. In addition to offering free access to existing texts from the UVA Electronic Text Center, netLibrary will also create new eBooks for its private collection from the University of Virginia Library. This agreement is the first instance in which the UVA Library has released these historic texts and documents to an outside commercial entity.
"We are excited about this new agreement between the University of Virginia Library and netLibrary," said UVA Electronic Text Center Director David Seaman. "Our materials include works of true historical importance. We are pleased that netLibrary will provide wider distribution of free texts from our electronic collections. netLibrary's assistance in converting, storing, and serving these works to a global audience of scholars and general readers is a great plus."
A focal point of the collection will be the Thomas Jefferson Letters, which will be available for free by the end of January 2000. Jefferson was a prolific and eloquent writer, and many of his letters are archived by the UVA Electronic Text Center. The Jefferson Letters cover a variety of topics including the establishment of the University of Virginia, the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, and numerous personal matters providing a rich portrait of late-18th and early 19th century American life.
"The Jefferson Letters are a treasure trove of knowledge and insight into early American history, government, and culture," said netLibrary President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy R. Schiewe. "The Jefferson Letters and other texts from UVA will greatly enhance the collections we can offer to our many library customers."
The commercial collection currently under development by netLibrary and UVA will consist of approximately 2,000 titles taken from the UVA Library. Subject areas include American History, Literature, Philosophy, History of Science, Children's Literature, African-American History, and Native-American History. Great works of fiction by authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, and Louisa May Alcott also will be featured.
About The University of Virginia Electronic Text Center
Since 1992, the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu) has pursued twin missions with equal seriousness of purpose: to build and maintain an Internet-accessible collection of SGML texts and images; and to build and maintain a user community adept at the creation and use of these materials. The Center combines an online archive of thousands of SGML-encoded electronic texts and images with a library service that offers hardware and software suitable for the creation and analysis of text. Through ongoing training sessions and support of teaching and research projects, the Center is building a diverse user community locally, and providing a model for similar humanities computing enterprises at other institutions. The Center can be accessed at: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu
Boulder, Colo.-based netLibrary (www.netLibrary.com) has harnessed the power of the Internet to provide convenient, anytime/anywhere access to more than 10,000 eBooks from 120 different publishers. netLibrary eBooks are full-text searchable and can be highlighted and annotated digitally. Publishers whose books are available through netLibrary include AMACOM Books, Marcel Dekker, Harvard Business School Publishing, Houghton Mifflin Company, McGraw-Hill, O'Reilly & Associates, and Oxford University Press.