Friday, January 19, 2007

The University of Texas Library Partners with Google to Digitize Books

The University of Texas at Austin is partnering with Google to put at least one million volumes from its collection online. UT Austin is now the 10th institution to sign on with Google's major book digitization project. According to a 19th January, 2007 UT Austin press release:
The University of Texas at Austin has become the newest partner in a broad book digitization project with Google.

The partnership between the University of Texas Libraries and Google is part of the Google Books Library Project, a project started in December 2004, initially to digitize books drawn from the libraries of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University and the New York Public Library.

In the course of the multi-year project, Google will digitize at least one million volumes from the University of Texas Libraries’ collections, working from selection lists prepared by the Libraries.

“We are excited to join the Google Books digitization effort, and feel it advances the mission of The University of Texas at Austin,” said William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. “Creating digital access to our library collections will enable a great many more scholars and members of the public to locate and use these tremendously valuable materials.”

The digitized books will all be fully searchable through Google Book Search. Google pays particular attention to copyright law and has specifically designed Book Search to comply with it. Anyone will be able to freely view, browse and read the university’s public domain books, including a number of unique treasures in the Libraries’ historic collections.

For books protected by copyright, users will only be provided the basic background information (such as the book’s title and the author’s name), at most a few lines of text related to their search and information about where they can borrow or buy the book. Publishers or authors who wish not to have their books digitized can be omitted from inclusion in the project. . . . MORE


Ken Liss said...

Some of the criticism of the Google digitization that I've heard says the libraries are very restricted on what they can do with the digital content of their books that they get from Google. But I haven't seen anything specific. Do you know any details?

- Ken

Mark Caprio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Caprio said...

I would say that I've heard the same thing. However, arrangements with copyright holders (publishers and authors) have become as numerous and varied as a Ben & Jerry's menu board.

Having the digital surrogate opens up possibilities through rights negotiation that can't exist with the analog version: data extraction and mashups assisting with the creation of new scholarship.


Brendan Rapple said...

Thre's a very interesting analysis of the terms of the different licenses signed by the Universities of Michigan and California with Google at Karen Coyle's blog at