PODTV – Program 16: Cambridge University Press Digitization Project

Cambridge University Press is a distinguished British academic publisher and this year they are celebrating 425 years of continuous publishing of academic and educational texts as well as 2009 being their 800th anniversary. As a department of the University of Cambridge, its purpose is to further the University’s objective of advancing knowledge, education, learning, and research. Cambridge is the oldest printer and publisher in the world and one of the largest academic publishers globally. Do not be fooled by images of dusty libraries and yellow parchment paper. Cambridge is at the forefront of book digitization. Their mission is their commitment to innovation and enterprise which places them at the cutting-edge of electronic delivery of books in a world that looks increasingly to digital content and online access not only to books and journals but to a range of other educational services.
Cambridge University Press has offices and agents all over the world and they work with a staggering 36,000 authors from 120 different countries in their efforts to market and distribute print and electronic material to readers. Now, there’s a handful for any publisher! Cambridge need 1,880 staff members to carry out their work which has resulted in an inventory of 34,000 in-print titles, a stockholding of 20m units housed in nine warehouses across the globe. Getting dizzy yet?
Cambridge University Press has a dedicated Digital Business Department operating at the forefront of digitization and finding fresh ways to increase the circulation of their catalogue of books through electronic outlets of various kinds. Sales of our books are now made as downloads to PCs and hand-held devices; through online library-style services; through subscription, short-term rental and other developing business models, and as sales of access to fragments (for example by chapter, or pay-per-view). They continue to work tirelessly to re-introduce rare books long out of print by scanning them to a massive database. They also have a list of 15,000 titles available through print on demand. I came across the following Youtube video on Teleread today. The video focuses on the specific work carried out by staff at the Cambridge University Library in their efforts to restore and digitize important historical works which have until recently only been available in their library. The video was made in July of this year and makes a perfect addition to our programs on PODTV.

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