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EU history at the click of a mouse - 26/10/2009

Poster of EU bookshop at launch of digital library at the Frankfurt book fair © EC

New EU digital library provides online public access to EU publications from past 60 years.

On 16 October, the EU bookshop launched its digital library, its online collection now containing every document published by the EU since 1952 – a whopping 110 000 publications. With the archives now included, the digital library contains no fewer than 12 million scanned pages in 50 languages.

One of the oldest documents in the library is a speech from September 1952 given by Jean Monnet – a leading figure in the early days of European integration – to the Assembly that later became the European Parliament.

The digital library was created in response to overwhelming demand for digital versions of out-of-print publications. Requests saturated the PDF-on-demand service within six months of its launch in 2007.

The bookshop is run by the EU publications office, which in 2008 alone published 842 issues of the official journal, a periodical booklet containing all EU legal documents, and 8 446 other publications, of which it distributed 46.3 million copies. All these publications are available via the EU bookshop, where PDF copies can be downloaded free of charge or ordered in print.

The new digital library will be linked to Europeana, a digital version of libraries and archives all over Europe.

Further information on the EU bookshop

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