ALA 2007 – Google Book Project update
I only caught a little of this session due to a conflict with other events I wanted to be at. Google’s Adam Smith opened with a walkthrough of the http://books.google.com/ website. He noted that Google has agreements with roughly 40,000 publishers to scan their books that are still under copyright. I hadn’t heard that anywhere before. Records with metadata have been added for non-scanned books too, like Harry Potter.
Representatives of each of the first five schools to join the scanning project were also on hand. I didn’t get to hear them all, but most noted that their efforts started with off site collections that in storage to minimize impact on the main collection. Harvard is including all bound volumes, not just books. Michigan scans fragile items in house and lets the outside scanners handle the rest. Interestingly, they keep their own copies of the scan in addition to what they pass on to Google. They plan to build their own interface to search the local copies – I’d be really interested to see the final result and compare the functionality of each.