Australasian universities welcome Springer Book Archives

Region’s universities embrace access to more than 170 years of scientific publishing.

By the end of 2013, Springer will offer online access to 100,000 eBooks with historic content through its Springer Book Archives (SBA), available anywhere, at any time, via SpringerLink ( As early adopters, Australasian universities were some of the first to offer access to this wealth of scientific content to students, faculty and researchers. Official launch events for the SBA will be held at the University of Melbourne on 5 April 2013, and at The Higher Education Technology Agenda Conference in Hobart, Australia on 8 April.

“The Springer Book Archives marks the culmination of years of planning, scanning and converting our historic titles to a digital format,” said Derk Haank, Springer’s CEO. “Our vision is to change the economics of the books business. We’re harnessing digital technologies to both deliver the best possible service to customers, and improve supply-chain efficiencies. And by offering tens of thousands of books available online for the first time, we are making ‘out of print’ a thing of the past for Springer titles.”

An undertaking of this magnitude involved thousands of hours to carefully scan each historic title, clean up any markings or imperfections, convert illustrations into high-resolution digital images, make the content discoverable and offer it to users in convenient formats. The end result of these efforts is an unprecedented collection of historic, scholarly eBooks, available DRM-free with full text searchability, and optimized for any device. Springer is also bringing titles unavailable in print for decades, if not longer, back to bookshelves by offering a print-on-demand option.

Rudolf Diesel, Paul Ehrlich and Emil Fischer are among the notable names who will appear in the SBA. Works of many Nobel Laureates are  among the titles offered, including those of a number of Australian luminaries.

The University of Melbourne, Australia’s highest ranking university, became the first institution in the southern hemisphere to purchase the SBA in November 2012, ahead of its official launch in January 2013.   The University of Auckland, La Trobe University and The University of South Australia all subsequently purchased the SBA ahead of its official launch, and numerous other institutions are in discussions to acquire it.

University of Melbourne Librarian Philip Kent said, “We have been aware of the project since 2010 and have been monitoring developments since.  The University has invested in this historic content, that includes works from scholars such as Einstein, because it paves the way for future research outcomes.”

“The progressive attitude of Australasian academic libraries towards electronic information resources, and the solutions that the SBA provides, are both major factors in the level of interest in the region,” said James Mercer, Sales Director South East Asia and Oceania for Springer. “The SBA is helping these libraries to provide spaces that are conducive to learning, and access to quality information in a format and medium that their clients use.”