Using existing information from NYPL’s catalog records, Kirtas will make the library’s public domain books available for sale through its retail site before they are ever digitized. Customers can search for a desired title on www.kirtasbooks.com and place an order for that book. When the order is placed, only then is it pulled from the shelf, digitized and made available as a high-quality reprint or digital file.
What makes this approach to digitization unique is that NYPL incurs no up-front printing, production or storage costs. It also provides the library with a self-funding, commercial model helping it to sustain its digitization programs in the future. Unlike other free or low-cost digitization programs, the library retains the rights and ownership to their own digitized content.
Whether patrons are looking for a title about a president—such as, Memories of President Lincoln, by Walt Whitman—or by a president—African Game Trails; An account of the African wanderings of an American hunter-naturalist, by Theodore Roosevelt—The New York Public Library is the place to turn. Collections available on Kirtasbooks.com are from NYPL’s General Research Division and include books from the local and U.S. history, genealogy, humanities and social sciences collections. Titles include several 19th century cookbooks, a first print edition of Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer, The Origin of the Werewolf Superstition (1909) by Caroline Taylor, and first edition version of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick from 1851.