Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Update on the Google scan of Michigan's library

Eric Morath, Google's scan of U-M library progresses ... quietly, Detroit News, April 13, 2007.  Excerpt:

[The Google] effort to digitize U-M's library...has hit its stride -- scanning 30,000 volumes in a recent week -- and is beginning to make a serious dent in the school's total of 7 million.

At the current pace, the project should wrap up in the next five years, said associate university librarian John Price Wilkin.

That's amazing to Wilkin, who also leads the university's own digitization project that began before the school partnered with Google. The in-house project scans about 5,000 volumes a year. At that pace, scanning the entire library would take 1,400 years....

"It will take down walls," he said. "This is one of the great research libraries in the world, and increasing amounts of it are available to those around the world." ...

The legal scuttlebutt has caused some partner libraries to limit the books Google can scan to those in the public domain, but U-M hasn't placed any limitations on the search engine.

In fact, creating a digital copy of every book in its library was a university goal before it joined with Google....