The Inquirer-Home

HP offers rare books on demand

Provides hard-to-find titles
Thu Oct 22 2009, 15:40

HP IS WORKING with the University of Michigan to help bookworms get their hands on their own copies of rare books.

The HP BookPrep project is designed to make more than half a million of these rare titles available through a print-on-demand system.

In a bid to save part of our classical heritage, major libraries are partnering with technology companies like HP to scan previously hard-to-find works using high-resolution photography. These scans are then cleaned up to remove any blemishes caused by wear and tear.

With the world plus dog getting into the e-book game these days it could seem odd that HP is sticking with the old fashioned dead tree format, but HP's director of New Business Initiatives, Andrew Bolwell reckons it's a viable option.

"People around the world still value reading books in print," he said.

"HP BookPrep technology allows publishers to extend the life cycle of their books, removes the cost and waste burdens of maintaining inventory, and uses a full spectrum of technologies to deliver convenient access to consumers."

People can buy high-quality print versions of public-domain, out-of-print books from the University of Michigan Library through HP BookPrep channels, including both traditional bookshops and online retailers such as

HP is also extending BookPrep to publishers and content owners, allowing them to offer their full catalogues of titles online, irrespective of demand.

HP already offers a similar print-on-demand system with the National Gallery in London that allows visitors to get high quality reprints of thousands of works on display in a range of sizes, with even the largest prints done in a few minutes. µ


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