Oceanography library partners with Google

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Approximately 100,000 volumes from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, described as the world's largest oceanography library, have been digitised and are being made publically-accessible. This is part of a partnership between Google, the University of California and the UC San Diego Libraries.

The digitised materials include numerous early research expedition reports documenting scientific observations and discoveries. 'Digitisation of the oceanographic expedition reports and older journals from the 1700s and 1800s is very exciting,' said Lisa Levin, a biological oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 'Scientists in those days made some extremely astute observations; most have been lost to the general scientific community simply because the documents reporting them have not been accessible. Those early observations take on greater significance as environments change and species disappear in the anthropocene (due to climate change, pollution, habitat degradation, overfishing and species invasions). They may hold the key to understanding conditions and ecosystems of the past, which will help us in coming to grips with the future.'

In 2008, UC San Diego became the first Southern California university to partner with Google in its efforts to digitise the holdings of the world's most prominent libraries. Since then, approximately 300,000 volumes and other materials have been digitised from UCSD's International Relations & Pacific Studies Library, the East Asian Language Collection and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library.