Inching Towards Harvard’s Library and Miami’s Climate

John Battelle's Searchblog: Google To Launch Major Pilot Program with Harvard, Stanford, U Mich, Others:

Harvard University is embarking on a collaboration with Google that could harness Google's search technology to provide to both the Harvard community and the larger public a revolutionary new information location tool to find materials available in libraries. In the coming months, Google will collaborate with Harvard's libraries on a pilot project to digitize a substantial number of the 15 million volumes held in the University's extensive library system. Google will provide online access to the full text of those works that are in the public domain. In related agreements, Google will launch similar projects with Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library. As of 9 am on December 14, an FAQ detailing the Harvard pilot program with Google will be available at…

This doesn't mean I get to enjoy Harvard's library while basking in Miami's climate: the public access will be limited to the public domain. But I'm one step closer.

Meanwhile, it does mean that we're going to feel the pinch of 100 year copyright even more than we already do.

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One Response to Inching Towards Harvard’s Library and Miami’s Climate

  1. Evelyn Blaine says:

    Good that they’re finally getting on the bandwagon; I’ve been using the wonderful Gallica archive at the Bibliothèque Nationale ( for a couple of years now. It’s not everything in the public domain, or even a fraction of it, but it is 70 000 very useful titles. The best thing about it is that all the documents are digitized as image-based PDF, which makes them much more user-friendly than documents mangled into text or html format by OCR software. I hope that Google follows this policy; it’s nice to have machine-searchable text for research, but PDFs that mirror the original page layout are far easier to actually read — and indispensable for those who need to guarantee accurate quotations.

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