Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Columbia and Microsoft sign book-scanning deal

Columbia University has struck a deal with Microsoft to digitize public-domain books from the Columbia library.  From yesterday's announcement:

Columbia University and Microsoft Corp. are collaborating on an initiative to digitize a large number of books from Columbia University Libraries and make them available to Internet users. With the support of the Open Content Alliance (OCA), publicly available print materials in Columbia Libraries will be scanned, digitized, and indexed to make them readily accessible through Live Search Books.

Columbia University and Microsoft are partners in the Open Content Alliance, along with the Boston Library Consortium, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Toronto among others. The alliance, which has made open access a core component of its mission, is scanning only out-of-copyright materials....

Columbia University Libraries is playing a key role in book selection and in setting quality standards for the digitized materials. Microsoft will digitize selected portions of the Libraries’ great collections of American history, literature, and humanities works, with the specific areas to be decided mutually by Microsoft and Columbia during the early phase of the project.

Microsoft will give the Library high-quality digital images of all the materials, allowing the Library to provide worldwide access through its own digital library and to share the content with non-commercial academic initiatives and non-profit organizations....

PS:  Columbia joined the Google Library Project just last month (December 13, 2007), making it one of a small but growing  number of universities to work with both Google and OCA/Microsoft. 

Also see the story on the Columbia-Microsoft deal in today's Library Journal Academic Newswire.