Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Google Will Digitize and Search Millions of Books From 5 Leading Research Libraries

That's the headline in the Chronicle of Education's Today's News. The BBC news noted that:

The libraries of five of the world's most important academic institutions are to be digitised by Google.

Scanned pages from books in the public domain will then be made available for search and reading online.

The full libraries of Michigan and Stanford universities, as well as archives at Harvard, Oxford and the New York Public Library are included.

Online pages from scanned books will not have adverts but will have links to online store Amazon, Google said.

A key point of this effort is that:
Books that are in the public domain will probably have their full text available through the search engine. For works that are protected by copyright -- the majority -- Google will show either bibliographic information or snippets of text that appear around a Google user's search term. (San Jose Mercury News)

The New York Times noted that:

Although Google executives declined to comment on its technology or the cost of the undertaking, others involved estimate the figure at $10 for each of the more than 15 million books and other documents covered in the agreements. Librarians involved predict the project could take at least a decade.
This will be an amazing effort! Everyone should keep his or her eye on this undertaking, and see what new understandings of digital libraries and digitization it yields.

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