6/6/07

Google Will Scan 10 Million More University Books

Remember: their plan is to scan every book in the world.

U makes deal with Google to put up to 1 million books online.

By Mary Jane Smetanka, Star Tribune

Up to 1 million books in the University of Minnesota's libraries will become part of Google's project to put every book in the world online, U officials said this morning.

The new agreement is between Google, the Big Ten institutions and the University of Chicago. Google will scan up to 10 million volumes from libraries at those institutions.
"We're talking about library collections developed over 150-plus years," said U of M Librarian Wendy Pradt Lougee. "This is a true national resource, as much for its diversity as for its sheer size."

Among the distinctive U collections that will be targeted first for scanning are books on Scandinavian history, literature and culture; forestry; bees and beekeeping; and medicine, including oncology, radiation and pediatrics.

Google's library project, which was announced in 2004, has been controversial. Some publishers have sued, saying copyright could be violated. But supporters say the project, which is free for anyone to use, could save researchers weeks or months of research by allowing them to locate sources at the touch of a mouse.

The contract with the U and other schools in the new agreement will allow Google to scan entire books into its system if they were published before 1923. For works that are copyrighted, Google will provide a few sentences of the work online and then direct readers to libraries that have the book or to bookstores that sell it.

The contract with the U is for six years with an option to renew. No money will change hands. Google essentially is digitizing large parts of the U library for free. If the U did it itself, it would take years and cost about $60 per volume.

Lougee said the project doesn't mean the death of traditional libraries. On the contrary, she said, her previous experience at the University of Michigan with 19th-century collections that had been buried in stacks but were digitized shows that "hidden treasures" can be opened to the world. More people came to see and use those documents in person once they could be seen online, she said.

"They got 1 million [online] hits a month worldwide, and comments from people all over the world," she said. "You see the power the search gives, and the way it can lead people to the real thing."

Twenty-five universities from around the world have now opened their libraries to Google. They include the University of Michigan, University of California system, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Oxford in England. The New York Public Library also is involved.

4 comments:

bryce said...

I notice that you've posted quite a bit about Google, perhaps your most popular non-Jewish topic. I'm curious why that is.

Especially given:
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?
entry=25675_Google_Standard_Memorial_Day_Excuse&only

bryce said...

I assume it does not have to do with the fact that the Google ad on your site promotes a link that wants us to believe in Jesus.

Tzvee said...

those were kvetches alrighty

bryce said...

That was a non-reply alrighty.