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The National Library of Norway has just announced plans to digitize its entire library of hundreds of thousands of books by the mid-2020s. A new law will require all published content in the country, in all formats and media, to be deposited in the library to be scanned and made searchable online. The finished project will be a complete record of the country’s language and literature stretching back to the Middle Ages.

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While a country offering free ebooks to its citizens is nothing new, what’s really impressive about the project is its scope. Norwegian citizens will be able to access the vast digital library for free — including 20th century books that are still under copyright. However, access to the copyrighted works will be restricted to users with IP addresses located in Norway itself. The rest of the vault will be available for download for everyone, with just one catch: you’ll have to read them in Norwegian.

Via Dvice