Columbia University joins GoogleBook Search

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Columbia University Libraries and Google will digitise a large number of the Libraries’ books in the public domain and make them available online. The project will evaluate and review hundreds of thousands of volumes from the Libraries’ collections over the next six years.

The Columbia University Libraries collections contain books on a wide variety of subjects and dozens of languages from 25 distinct libraries. Areas being considered for digitisation include architecture, political science, sociology, environmental science, and history and literature materials from Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin and South America.

‘Our participation in the Google Book Search Library Project will add significantly to the extensive digital resources the Libraries already deliver,’ said James Neal, Columbia’s vice-president for information services and university librarian. ‘It will enable the Libraries to make available more significant portions of its extraordinary archival and special collections to scholars and researchers worldwide in ways that will ultimately change the nature of scholarship.’

Columbia Libraries will receive a digital copy of every book scanned. In addition to ensuring that the intellectual content of these works remains available into the future, the university also intends to use the digital copy of these public-domain works in its teaching and research activities.