Duke University is about to expand access to free electronic books to include thousands of titles. This fall Duke will be among the nation’s first institutions to offer free online access to books that are still protected by copyright and not in the public domain. Published between 1923 and 1963, the books will be offered to the public because the owners of the copyrights can’t be contacted – either the publishers went out of business or the authors are deceased.
Duke announced the project this week along with other universities – Cornell, Emory and Johns Hopkins. They were able to do what Google hasn’t been able to because their library systems own print editions of the books.