Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Demo of French digital book project to launch

Barbara Casassus, France launches Google books rival,, March 12, 2008. (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

France is to launch its challenge to Google's book search next week. French Culture Minister Christine Albanel said today (12th March) that a pilot scheme for the Gallica 2 digitised book project would go live immediately after the Paris Book Fair, which opens on Friday (14th March) and runs for six days.

The project, to be unveiled at the fair, will offer more than 60,000 digitised works from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) and 2,000 from about 50 publishers, some of whom received subsidies for the purpose. The BNF plans to add another 40,000 books imminently, with those copyrighted books supplied by publishers expected to quickly exceed 10,000. ...

Comment. The article doesn't make clear what's different about Gallica 2 vs. Gallica. I can't find an announcement on the Gallica site, and I can't reach the Ministry of Culture site, so I guess we'll find out on Friday.

See also past OAN posts on Gallica.

Update. After reviewing the relevant documents (1, 2, 3), I still can't tell what's new about Gallica 2 or what its relationship is with Gallica.

Update. It appears Gallica 2 is indeed the next version of Gallica, with the intention that the new version will permanently replace the old at the end of 2008. Gallica 2 will add new types of works (such as magazines and newspapers) as well as changes to the interface, including the ability to search full-text inside books. A description in French is here (thanks to Jean-Claude Guedon).