National Library of Norway to digitize Nigerian literature

Source:AFP Published: 2017/5/30 16:58:39

The National Library of Norway said Monday it would digitize literature from Nigeria following a seemingly unprecedented agreement which organizers hope will lead to an "African digital library."

In the northern Norwegian town of Mo i Rana, at the rim of the Arctic Circle, the National Library of Norway plans to digitize part of its Nigerian counterpart's collection of books.

The library's public division is located in the capital Oslo.

"Our goal is for this project to serve as a model for other countries, and that we can help create a fully-fledged African digital library," the Norwegian library's director Aslak Sira Myhre explained in a statement.

The agreement, which is to be signed on June 10 in Abuja, will initially cover works written in the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages, the library said.

The costs will be shared, with the library in Nigeria responsible for collecting the works and the Norwegian one for carrying out the digitization, with the transport covered by the Norwegian Embassy in Nigeria.

"The project has not been launched because the National Library wants to provide foreign development aid but because it enables us to enlarge our foreign language library, so this becomes a win-win project for us and Nigeria," a spokeswoman for the Norwegian library, Nina Braein, explained to AFP.

The National Library of Norway made headlines in 2014 when it announced it was putting virtually all Norwegian literature published before 2001 online and available free of charge, thanks to a pioneering agreement with rights holders on the thorny issue of royalties.

The digitization of Norwegian works is expected to be completed this year.

Posted in: BOOKS

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