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Google’s ‘Project Ocean’ Goes Public

by David Sturtz

The New York Times has an article on Google’s collaboration with major academic libraries to digitize their collections. This has previously been mentioned as “Project Ocean”.

Google plans to digitize nearly all the eight million books in Stanford’s collection and the seven million at Michigan. The Harvard project will initially be limited to only about 40,000 volumes. The scanning at Bodleian Library at Oxford will be limited to an unspecified number of books published before 1900, while the New York Public Library project will involve fragile material not under copyright that library officials said would be of interest primarily to scholars.

What does this mean for libraries?

Instead of expending considerable time and money to managing their collections of printed materials, Mr. Greenstein [university librarian for the California Digital Library of the University of California] said, libraries in the future can devote more energy to gathering information and making it accessible - and more easily manageable - online.

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