Lunch & Learn: The Google Book Scanning Project with Trevor Dawes and Marie Wange-Connelly

googlebooks.jpgThe 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.


trevordawes.jpgAt the May 5 Lunch ‘n Learn, Trevor Dawes and Marie Wange-Connelly provided an overview of the effort at Princeton. Over the next four to six years, the Princeton University Library will be sending many of its out-of-copyright titles to Google for scanning and OCR. These titles will subsequently be accessible via Google Book Search. Google has agreed to digitize approximately one million public domain books, works no longer covered by copyright protections, in the Princeton Library collection. The actual number will likely be lower owing to issues related to the condition and size of individual volumes and the de-duplication of items already scanned from other partner libraries. The combined collections of the University’s libraries include more than 6 million printed works and 5 million manuscripts.
Princeton began by sharing with Google its holdings before 1923. The Library and Google then mutually agreed on the items to be included in the project. To avoid duplication, Google selected those volumes whose text was not already contained within their database. Holdings do include different editions, and there are instances in which text is available from editions that are now out of copyright. Princeton has thus far sent three shipments to Google from the list that Google submitted back. The volumes sent so far are primarily in the humanities and social sciences and involve many languages in non-Roman scripts.
mariewangeconnelly.jpgAs a result of this partnership, Google will provide free electronic access to works that are out of copyright and more when they are able to obtain permissions from publishers. For its part, Princeton will now have electronic access to many of its volumes. Some of the digitized items can now be stored in areas that are friendlier to their preservation while freeing up valuable shelf space within on-campus libraries for new acquisitions.
Additional details about the project and about the project partners are available .
Trevor Dawes is the Circulation Services Director at the Princeton University Library, where he oversees the circulation, reserve, stacks, current periodicals, Borrow Direct and remote storage coordination operations. Dawes received his MLS from Rutgers University and has additional Masters Degrees in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Marie Wange-Connelly is the Leader of the Serials, Electronic Resources and Record Management Team within the Catalog Division and is Special Projects Manager within Technical Services. Wange-Connelly also received an MLS from Rutgers University.
The podcast is available.

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