BookSurge, an Amazon Group, and Kirtas Collaborate to Preserve and Distribute Historic Archival Books

Jun 21, 2007, 01:00 ET from BookSurge from ,Kirtas Technologies

    CHARLESTON, S.C. and ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 21 /PRNewswire/ --
 BookSurge, an Amazon group (Nasdaq:   AMZN) and leader in Print on Demand
 services, and Kirtas Technologies, a world leader in high-quality
 nondestructive book digitization, today announced a collaboration with
 universities and public libraries to preserve thousands of rare and
 inaccessible books from their collections and distribute them via
 BookSurge's Print-on-Demand service. This collaboration, which will greatly
 enhance the selection of rare and historic books for sale on and
 other retail channels, represents a breakthrough approach to digitization
 and preservation that will ensure the public will have access to these
 works indefinitely via Print on Demand. This initiative will also help
 these institutions fund their mission of preserving these vast literary
 collections by offering a revenue source from the sales of content these
 institutions own or that is in the public domain on Kirtas will
 provide economical, nondestructive scanning technology. In addition to
 providing funding for their ongoing digitization efforts, this
 collaboration gives libraries and universities complete control over what
 is being scanned in their collections.
     Emory University, University of Maine, Toronto Public Library, and
 Cincinnati Public Library are the first organizations to enter into
 agreements with Kirtas to make their rare-book collections available to a
 readership that extends far beyond their physical geographies to include an
 audience of millions of customers. This preservation effort is
 the only method that allows university and public libraries to preserve
 books and print them on demand as they are ordered. Participating
 institutions retain full control over what is digitized, so they now have
 an economical way to preserve, reproduce and distribute important works
 that may be disappearing from their shelves.
     "There are thousands of books that have been unavailable altogether or
 incredibly difficult to find and access, so we're thrilled to be making
 reproductions of these unique, collectible books available to millions of customers," said David Symonds, general manager, BookSurge.
 "And, by offering these works on and through other retail
 channels, it gives new generations an easy way to find books they never
 would have even known about, much less had access to. It's a winning
 solution for libraries, research institutions and customers."
     BookSurge and Kirtas now give research universities and public
 libraries a viable way to cost-effectively and indefinitely extend the
 shelf life and distribution capabilities of the unique book collections to
 which they own the rights. These collections can now be re-created through
 gentle scanning with Kirtas' state-of-the-art robotic technology -
 capturing the scholarly and culturally significant content that might
 otherwise be lost forever - and then printed on demand as Amazon customers
 order using BookSurge technology.
     "This is the first large-scale digitization initiative that puts the
 research libraries and universities in full control of their content," said
 Lotfi Belkhir, CEO and founder of Kirtas. "Our new initiative with
 BookSurge enables organizations to rapidly and safely digitize their
 invaluable collections at the highest quality standards and offers them a
 sustainable business model that extends their reach far beyond the physical
 confines of their institutions."
     Print-on-demand books purchased by customers are available
 for shipping within hours after they are ordered. Customers who choose
 overnight shipping can receive their books the next day, often less than 24
 hours after the order was placed.
     Kirtas is helping to fund this preservation effort by discounting the
 costs associated with this program for select research universities and
 public libraries. To find out more about BookSurge Print on Demand
 services, please visit For more information on Kirtas,
 please visit
     BookSurge and Kirtas Partner Quotes
     "We believe that mass digitization and print-on-demand publishing is an
 important new model for digital scholarship that is going to revolutionize
 the management of academic materials," said Martin Halbert, director for
 digital programs and systems at Emory's Robert W. Woodruff Library.
 "Information will no longer be lost in the mist of time when books go out
 of print. This is a way of opening up the past to the future."
     "The digitization of our own collections is the next step in providing
 the resources that the University Community and the citizens of the State
 of Maine need for their research," said Joyce Rumery, Dean of Libraries,
 University of Maine. "This project will allow users access to materials
 that are now largely unavailable to most potential users."
     "For the first time, this collaboration allows an individual to own a
 print copy of the rarest books in the world," said Jason J. Buydos,
 director, Technical Services, Cincinnati Public Library.
     "And digitization allows librarians to move away from being the
 curators of the rare book museum and back toward the true tenets of
 librarianship - enabling access to the ideas and information locked within
 the content of those rare books."
     Toronto Public Library, North America's largest library, plans to
 leverage's worldwide reach and Kirtas's unique technology to
 share historic Canadian material and thousands of other rare works. "This
 initiative creates an opportunity for libraries to preserve rare works and
 ensure they'll be available for generations to come," said Linda Mackenzie,
 director, Research and Reference Libraries, Toronto Public Library.
 "Through digitization, our library shelves will span virtually the entire
     About BookSurge
     BookSurge, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of, Inc., is a pioneer in print-on-demand services. BookSurge
 offers state-of-the- art Print on Demand services to the book publishing
     About Kirtas Technologies
     Kirtas Technologies was founded in 2001 with the vision of bringing to
 the digital realm the massive knowledge sitting on library shelves,
 government archives and corporate storerooms. Today, the company's
 revolutionary technology redefines digitization of all bound documents,
 delivering gentler handling and higher image quality faster, with fewer
 errors, and at a lower cost than any other solution in the marketplace. For
 more information, visit
     About, Inc., (Nasdaq:   AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in
 Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's
 Biggest Selection., Inc. seeks to be Earth's most
 customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything
 they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the
 lowest possible prices. and other sellers offer millions of
 unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as health and
 personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors,
 apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, toys
 and baby, and home and garden.
     Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including,,,,,, and
     As used herein, "," "we," "our" and similar terms include, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates
     Forward-Looking Statements
     This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the
 meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
 Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly
 from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve
 risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to
 competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies,
 potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion,
 outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization,
 seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic
 transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, significant
 amount of indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation,
 payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could
 affect's financial results is included in's filings
 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on
 Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and all subsequent filings.

SOURCE BookSurge; Kirtas Technologies