One way to preserve literary masterpieces: cut a deal with Google. Faced with a short supply of librarians and a tight budget for archiving, Italy has reached an agreement with the online search engine to allow it to digitize the contents of the country’s two national libraries. One million old books, all dated before 1868—thereby avoiding copyright concerns—will be scanned at centres in Florence and Rome, and made available for free over the Internet. In return, the libraries will receive digital copies of the books. The deal, which is similar to the one reached with public libraries in New York City, France and Germany, comes as Google faces legal battles over its scanning project.