Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 10:53 UK

Amazon deal to reprint rare books website
Amazon says there are benefits of print-on-demand books

Online retailer Amazon is teaming up with the University of Michigan to provide reprints of 400,000 rare, out-of-print and out-of-copyright books.

The books from the university's library are in more than 200 languages from Acoli to Zulu and include an 1860 book on nursing by Florence Nightingale.

Amazon's Book Surge unit will print the books in soft-cover editions at prices from $10(£6) to $45.

It comes as the Ann Arbor college seeks to digitise its book collection.

Financial details of the tie-up arrangement have not been revealed.

'Rich collections'

The books, such as Nightingale's Notes on Nursing: What it is and what it is not, will be printed on demand.

An 1860 first edition of the book, which aims "to give hints for thought to women who have personal charge of the health of others", can currently sell for up to £1,000.

Florence Nightingale's out of print nursing book
Books such as Florence Nightingale's will have a modern soft cover

"This agreement means that titles that have been generally unavailable for a century or more will be able to go back into print, one copy at a time," said Paul Courant, the university's librarian.

"The agreement enables us to increase access to public domain books and other publications that have been digitised," Mr Courant said.

"We are very excited to be offering this service as a new way to increase access to the rich collections of the university library."

Some of the reprints being offered for sale are of books that have been scanned by Google, while others were processed by the university itself.


The University of Michigan-Google partnership started in 2004 as part of a wider programme that also includes Harvard and Stanford universities and the University of California system.

Authors and publishers filed a lawsuit claiming copyright violation, but Google and the publishing industry settled the suit last year.

Amazon's Book Surge print-on-demand service was launched in 2007 with books from the collections of Emory University, the University of Maine and the Toronto and Cincinnati public libraries.

"Public and university libraries are seeing the benefits of print-on-demand as an economic and environmentally-conscious way to support their missions of preserving and making rare or out-of-copyright material broadly available to the public," said Book Surge's Amanda Wilson.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES University of Michigan Expands Print on Demand Effort with Amazon's BookSurge - 37 hrs ago University of Michigan, Amazon offer 400,000 titles with print-on-demand - 47 hrs ago

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