Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Google / CIC Release

Email release from University of Illinois Provost Linda Katehi:

Today the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of 12 world-class research universities, advancing their missions by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources and collaborating on innovative programs, is announcing an agreement with Google to digitize distinctive collections across all its libraries as part of the Google Book Search project. As a member of the consortium, our university is part of this important initiative.

Over the next several years, Google will scan and make searchable up to 10 million public domain and in-copyright volumes in a way that is consistent with copyright law. Public domain materials can be viewed, searched and downloaded in their entirety. For books under copyright protection, a search will result in basic information (such as the book's title and the author's name), and a snippet of text surrounding the search term. Users seeking further information from the text will be directed to avenues for purchase or library access.

Also, this agreement anticipates the CIC's intention to create a shared digital repository, so that each university can "deposit" its digitized public domain files into a commonly funded and managed data storage system. Over time, the shared digital repository will enable our librarians to archive and organize content collectively for scholarly activity, as well as design services such as customized searches for the academic community. When implemented, students and faculty will have convenient, desktop access to a vast array of public domain materials from across our 12 institutions.

The role of archiving and preserving the vast spectrum of written materials is a critical one for university libraries. Many works become out of print, or deteriorate with age, or are threatened by natural disasters or societal upheavals through the centuries. And as we move to a completely technological and digital environment, materials not available in a digital format will become less and less discoverable. Digitization enables us to preserve our historical collections for all time.

This partnership with Google will enable the CIC universities to digitize library content at a scale and scope not possible with the limited means available to individual institutions. And now, with the future promise of a shared digital repository, our universities will enter into an
ambitious, groundbreaking collaboration to collectively archive digital public domain materials previously housed within the bricks and mortar of individual libraries.

For more information on the CIC and today's announcement, visit:

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