Nearly 60,000 books have been digitized as part of the first-ever mass book digitization project of the U.S. Library of Congress (LOC), the world’s largest library. Many of the books cover the period of Western settlement of the United States from 1865–1922 and provide historians a new source of information that would be otherwise difficult to locate and obtain. Hard-to-find Civil War regimental histories are also included; the oldest work to be included is from 1707 and covers the trial of two Presbyterian ministers in New York. All of the books are in the collection are in the public domain, according to library officials.
The new additions, along with previously digitized books can be accessed through the Library’s catalog Web site and the Internet Archive.
The Library of Congress has already digitized many of its other collections — more than 7 million photographs, maps, audio and video recordings, newspapers, letters and diaries can be found at the Library’s Digital Collections site.
The Internet Archive is the second-largest book-scanning project after Google Books. A subset of this project is the Google Books Library Project, which has agreements to scan collections of numerous research libraries worldwide.