Google has signed an agreement to digitize one million books, written before 1868, from libraries in Rome and Florence. The books will be free on Google Books.
Mario Resca of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage commented that the plan would help to preserve books which might be at risk due to budget cuts. Thousands of books were lost during floods in Florence.
Among books scheduled to be digitized are works by Dante, Machiavelli and Galileo.