7 March 2017

Digitisation project in the University Library

Over 50,000 historical titles are made online available

As of March 50,000 titles from Utrecht University Library will be digitised in collaboration with Google and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) (National Library of the Netherlands). The historical works will be made freely available.

Open science

 Utrecht University Library aims at digitising as many works from its collection as possible to make them online available for research and teaching purposes. In two projects over 50,000 works are scanned and digitised:

  1.  A digitisation project with Google and the KB
  2. The Metamorfoze project in collaboration with the KB

The titles have been published in the Netherlands or in the Dutch language. These titles will be available throughout the world and free of charge via Delpher.The titles that will be digitised in cooperation with Google will also be included in Google Books

Digitisation project Google & KB

So far, Google has digitised more than 30 million titles all over the world and in 2010 the company entered into an agreement with the KB to include as many Dutch titles as possible in Google Books. After the KB had digitised a large part of its own collection, Dutch libraries were asked to participate. The university libraries of Amsterdam and Leiden went before. Now it's the turn of Utrecht University Library to digitise approximately 32,000 titles published before 1900 together with Google.


Metamorfoze is the National Programme for the Preservation of Paper Heritage and is housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. The programme is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and was begun in 1997. For years Utrecht University Library has carried out projects as part of the Metamorfoze project. This year a project will start to digitise 18,000 titles from the period 1900-1940.


Next to some titles in the catalogue you will find a notification that they are not available during the course of the digitisation project. Desk staff will be happy to help you find alternatives. Or contact the library via: