Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 11 • December 2000
ebrary Snags Key Investors for Pay-Per-Use Service

ebrary, a company founded in February 1999 to establish an online research library, has announced an unprecedented joint investment by three leading publishing and information services companies: Random House, Inc., Pearson, and The McGraw-Hill Companies. This represents the first time these three market leaders have made a mutual investment in the same company. Terms of the agreement between ebrary and the investors were not disclosed. The ebrary service was scheduled to launch this fall and can be found at

According to the company, ebrary is creating a collection of authoritative and valuable content, encompassing books, journals, maps, periodicals, and digitally archived material, most of which was previously inaccessible via the Web. Membership is free; however, nonmembers are allowed to search and view content but aren’t able to purchase it. ebrary patrons may utilize advanced search technologies to better find the information they need. ebrary’s InfoTools plug-in enables researchers to directly access supplementary information from the Internet, including definitions, translations, encyclopedic references, and maps. uses Adobe PDF format.

ebrary will also provide patrons with a new way to acquire information, by allowing the copying of text or printing of pages for a photocopier-like fee. In this manner, ebrary will offer publishers, authors, and information providers brand-new revenues. By increasing the exposure of copyright-protected material, ebrary will encourage the purchase of either the physical or electronic version of titles viewed from a choice of online or local bookstores. With the ebrary model, participating publishers and information providers may determine the degree of access and costs associated with each of their titles.

Users will also be able to pay to securely download whole documents to disk or into e-book readers, pay to have documents printed on-demand and delivered, and purchase books and documents from vendor partners.

 “The fact that this is the first-ever co-investment by three major publishers in this space demonstrates the broad range of support for ebrary’s model and philosophy,” said Christopher Warnock, CEO of ebrary. “ebrary is now poised, with the help of our partners, to finally make the content of books, periodicals, and other traditionally printed documents accessible to everyone on the Internet in a manner that benefits publishers, libraries, booksellers, and Internet users, while protecting the authors’ copyrights.”

Source: ebrary, Sunnyvale, CA, 408/991-9332;

Table of Contents Information Today Home Page