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Boston Public Library Digitization Project

Carl Malamud says his motivation is to make the workings of the government more accessible at no cost and that "This is society’s operating system."

A digital library partnership, including two nonprofit organizations and the Boston Public Library, is preparing to begin making digital copies of the library’s paper-based government documents collection, which will then be made available on the Internet.

The project, which will take two years and require the hand scanning of millions of pages of government hearings and related publications, will cost an estimated $6 million, according to the project’s sponsors.

Boston Public Library librarians said they planned to begin by digitizing the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings from the 1950s, which is regularly sought after by its patrons.

The project is being undertaken by Public.Resource.Org, a nonprofit group seeking to open public access to government records, and the Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based digital library.

The project is the brainchild of founders of the two organizations, Carl Malamud and Brewster Kahle…

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