The Google Books Library Project is a collaborative effort between Google and more than 20 academic libraries and publishers to scan and make searchable major research collections. When books are out of copyright and in the public domain, the public can now use Google Book Search to view bibliographic information, to read and search the texts, and even download them.
Google Books is a product resulting from the combination of the Google Library Partnerships (29 libraries) and the Google Publishers Partnership (many thousands)
The library project began in 2005 with Harvard, the New York Public Library, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and Oxford University.Princeton joined the project in 2006. Many other institutions of higher education and several publishers have now joined the endeavor.
The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Princeton University Library holds world class archival and manuscripts collections. The Mudd Manuscript Library, with more than 35,000 linear feet of storage, holds two major collections: The Princeton University Archives and “Public Policy Papers” which include very significant collections in the areas of foreign policy, economics and economic development, Civil Liberties, Law and Jurisprudence.
Finding aids, descriptive inventories created by archival repositories in order to provide access to collections, serve as the entry points for scholars and researchers to discover and explore these collections. In order to provide a standard structure for finding aids, the archival community developed an international XML metadata standard, Encoded Archival Description (EAD) in 1995.
Comparable to AACR2 and MARC for bibliographic records, the content standard for Finding Aids has now been adopted by numerous institutions. EAD reflects the hierarchical nature of archival collections and provides a structure for describing the whole of a collection, as well as its components. And the standard supports flexible searching by collection, creator, biographies, title, call number, or topic.
The Princeton University Library is one of nearly 30 partners in the Google Book Scanning Project, an effort to integrate major library collections. Google expects that the project will connect researchers with key scholarly works and resources and that it will one day provide comprehensive access to all scholarly literatures. Google Scholar currently supports searches for peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, and journal articles across many disciplines. Searches conducted at Princeton will provide a Find it @ PUL button when the library makes the full text available. Search results that contain a “book” link will provide a link to that book, the full text of which may be available.
In 2004, Google began the book-scanning project with a core group including the New York Public Library and academic libraries at Harvard University, Oxford University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan. The agreements varied in scope. Michigan, for example, agreed to the digitization of all 7 million volumes in their collection. The project at Stanford involved approximately 2 million books in the first phase but could extend to full digitization during the life of the project. By contrast, the New York Public Library and Oxford are contributing only their non copyright, public domain material, although those holdings will exceed one million volumes. The second round of schools included Princeton, as well as the University of California, the University Complutense of Madrid, the National Library of Catalonia, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Virginia, and the University of Texas at Austin.
At the May 17 Lunch ‘n Learn, four speakers from the University Library provided their perspectives on Google, the popular internet search engine that has become an integral part of everyday vocabulary and life.
Stephen Ferguson, the Assistant University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections and the Curator of Rare Books began by reminding us all that in 1994, just a dozen years ago, PC Magazine created a splash by printing the following roadmap to the internet. The map, of course, is today a relic, but it represents an ancient ancestor of the Google engine.