IBM and the European Union are collaborating on a mass digitization project called on IMPACT (IMProving Access to Text).
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
IBM and the EU have expanded their research collaboration, which now includes more than two-dozen national libraries, research institutes, universities, and companies across Europe to provide new technology that will enable highly-accurate digitization of rare and culturally significant historical texts on a massive scale. Unlike past digitization projects where the result has been static, online libraries of texts, this unique widescale effort, called IMPACT (IMProving Access to Text), will offer new tools and best practices to institutions across Europe that will enable them to efficiently and accurately continue to produce quality digital replicas of historically significant texts and make them widely available, editable and searchable online.
Funded by the EU, IMPACT's research combines the power of new innovative Web-enabled adaptive optical character recognition (OCR) software with "crowd computing" technology—a fast growing concept designed around individuals, or 'crowds,' enhancing a process or product by sharing their knowledge and expertise to dramatically improve its quality and efficiency. Combined, these technologies will allow institutions for the first time to adapt digitization to the idiosyncrasies of old fonts, anomalies and even vocabularies–while reducing error rates by 35% and substitution rates by 75%.