Internet Archive and Bookshare Partner to Combine Search Results: Single Search Finds Public Domain and Copyrighted Titles in Accessible Formats

For all Bookshare-related questions, please contact:

Valerie Chernek


October 21, 2010, Palo Alto, CA – Internet Archive and Bookshare announced today at the Books in Browsers conference that they have entered into a partnership that provides Internet Archive users and Bookshare members the capability to search for digital accessible books from Bookshare on The ability to search Bookshare titles on provides links to over 80,000 copyrighted titles, and further simplifies the process of finding an accessible book, thereby increasing ease of access to accessible books and periodicals for people with print disabilities. 

Anyone searching will see titles available from Bookshare in their search results. They will be able to immediately link to Bookshare and if they have a subscription to Bookshare, download the book from Bookshare. If they do not have a current Bookshare membership, they will be prompted to sign up as a Bookshare member prior to downloading their selected title(s). Bookshare membership is available to qualifying individuals with disabilities worldwide for a small fee. The integrated search project between Internet Archive and Bookshare will be complete by the end of this calendar year. 

“Providing access to Bookshare books and periodicals means that more people with print disabilities will have the opportunity to access a breadth and depth of genres, topics, and styles offered by Bookshare,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. 

“We are excited that more accessible books will be exposed to people with print disabilities via the site,” said Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General Manager of the Literacy Program at Benetech. “Their goal is complementary to Bookshare’s goal of equal access to all copyrighted materials for all people with print disabilities, making this partnership mutually beneficial, and one that furthers the mission of both organizations.”

Through an exemption in the U.S. copyright law, (17 U.S.C. § 121) known as the Chafee Amendment, Bookshare serves a community of individuals with qualifying print disabilities, such as visual impairments, physical disabilities or severe learning disabilities that affect reading. Proof of disability is required for membership. For access to the collection, qualified individuals of all ages are welcome to sign up for an individual membership; organizations serving qualified individuals are welcome to sign up for an organizational membership. 

About Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.

About Bookshare

Bookshare is the world’s largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Through its technology initiatives and partnerships, Bookshare seeks to raise the floor on accessibility issues so that individuals with print disabilities have the same ease of access to print materials as people without disabilities. In 2007, Bookshare received a five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to provide free access for all U.S. students with a qualifying print disability. The Bookshare library now has over 90,000 books and serves more than 100,000 members. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit which creates sustainable technology to solve pressing social needs.


The content of this press release was developed under a cooperative agreement, H327K070001, with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Copyright © 2010 Benetech. All rights reserved. Bookshare is a Benetech initiative.