Google Books Library Project

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The Google Books Library Project is an effort by Google to scan and make searchable the collections of several major research libraries.[1] The project, along with Google's Partner Program, comprise Google Books (formerly Google Book Search). Along with bibliographic information, snippets of text from a book are often viewable. If a book is out of copyright and in the public domain, the book is fully available to read or to download.[2]

The project is the subject of the Authors Guild v. Google lawsuit, filed in 2005 and as of April 2014 on appeal.


The Google Books Library Project continues to evolve;[3] however, only some of the institutional partners are listed on the web page currently maintained by Google:[4]

Initial Project Partners[edit]

The number of academic libraries participating in the digitization and uploading of books from their collections has grown beyond the original five: Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, Oxford, and the New York Public Library.

Harvard University[edit]

Harvard University (and Harvard University Library) is an institutional participant in the project.[5] The Harvard University Library (HUL) today is best understood as a coordinated system of more than 80 libraries with shared holdings. The University Library is also a department of the University's central administration through which the libraries collaborate in the areas of digital acquisitions and collections, information technology, high-density storage, and preservation.[6]

The Harvard University Library and Google conducted a pilot throughout 2005. The project continued, with the aim of increasing online access to the holdings of the Harvard University Library, which includes more than 15.8 million volumes. While physical access to Harvard's library materials is generally restricted to current Harvard students, faculty, and researchers, or to scholars who can come to Cambridge, the Harvard-Google Project has been designed to enable both members of the Harvard community and users everywhere to discover works in the Harvard collection.

New York Public Library[edit]

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is an institutional participant in the project.[7]

In this pilot program, NYPL is working with Google to offer a collection of its public domain books, which will be scanned in their entirety and made available for free to the public online. Users will be able to search and browse the full text of these works. When the scanning process is complete, the books may be accessed from both The New York Public Library's website and from the Google search engine.[7]

Stanford University[edit]

Stanford University and Stanford University Libraries (SULAIR) is an institutional participant in the project.[8]

"Stanford has been digitizing texts for years now to make them more accessible and searchable, but with books, as opposed to journals, such efforts have been severely limited in scope for both technical and financial reasons. The Google arrangement catapults our effective digital output from the boutique scale to the truly industrial. Through this program and others like it, Stanford intends to promote learning and stimulate innovation."
-– Michael A. Keller, University Librarian.[4]

University of Michigan[edit]

Notice about the project

The University of Michigan (and the University of Michigan Library) is an institutional participant in the project.[9]

"The project with Google is core to our mission as a great public university to advance knowledge — on campus and beyond. By joining this partnership that makes our library holdings searchable through Google, UM serves as an agent in an initiative that radically increases the availability of information to the public. The University of Michigan embraces this project as a means to make information available as broadly and conveniently as possible.
  • "Although we have engaged in large-scale, preservation-based conversion of materials in the Library's collection for several years, and have been a leader in digital preservation efforts among research libraries, we know that only through partnerships of this sort can conversion of this scale be achieved. Our program is strong, and we have been able to digitize approximately 5,000 volumes/year; nevertheless, at this rate, it would take us more than a thousand years to digitize our entire collection."
-– John P. Wilkin, Associate University Librarian.[4]

University of Oxford[edit]

University of Oxford is an institutional participant in this project.[10] Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and its historic Bodleian Library is the oldest university library.

"The Bodleian Library's mission, from its founding in 1602, has been based on Sir Thomas Bodley's vision of a library serving the worldwide 'Republic of Letters', with the Library's collections open to all who have need to use them. To this day over 60% of readers who use and work in the Bodleian Library have no direct affiliation with the University of Oxford . The Google Library Project in Oxford testifies to our ongoing commitment to enable and facilitate access to our content for the scholarly community and beyond. The initiative will carry forward Sir Thomas Bodley's vision and the ethos of the Bodleian Library into the digital age, allowing readers from around the world to access the Library's collections over the World Wide Web."
-– Ronald Milne, former Director of Oxford University Library & Bodleian Librarian.[4]

Additional Project Partners[edit]

Other institutional partners have joined the Project in the years since the partnership was first announced:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stein, Linda L.; Lehu, Peter, J (2009). Literary Research and the American Realism and Naturalism Period: Strategies and Sources. p. 261. 
  2. ^ Google Books Library Project – An enhanced card catalog of the world's books
  3. ^ O'Sullivan, Joseph and Adam Smith. "All booked up," Googleblog. December 14, 2004.
  4. ^ a b c d e Google Library Partners
  5. ^ "Harvard-Google Project". Harvard University Library. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  6. ^ HUL summary/overview
  7. ^ a b New York Public Library + Google
  8. ^ "Stanford's Role in Google Books". Stanford University Libraries. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Michigan Digitization Project". MLibrary - University of Michigan. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Oxford Google Books Project". Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d Albanese, Andrew (2007-06-15). "Google Book Search Grows". Library Journal. Retrieved 28 August 2013. ; Staatsbibliothek + Google (in German)
  12. ^ "Columbia University Libraries Becomes Newest Partner in Google Book Search Library Project". Columbia University Libraries. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  13. ^ CIC + Google
  14. ^ Complutense Universidad + Google (in Spanish)
  15. ^ "Cornell University Library becomes newest partner in Google Book Search Library Project". Cornell University Library. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Ghent/Gent + Google
  17. ^ "Keio University to partner with Google, Inc. for digitalization and release of its library collection to the world For "Formation of Knowledge of the digital era"". Keio University. 2007-07-06. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  18. ^ Biblioteca de Catalunya (BNC) + Google (in Spanish)
  19. ^ Koninklijke Bibliotheek and Google sign book digitisation agreement
  20. ^ Cliatt, Cass (2007-02-05). "Library joins Google project to make books available online". Princeton University. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "UC libraries partner with Google to digitize books". University of California. 2006-08-09. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  22. ^ Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire (BCU) + Google (in French)
  23. ^ Anderson, Nate (2007-05-22). "Google to scan 800,000 manuscripts, books from Indian university". Ars Technica. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "The University of Texas Libraries Partner with Google to Digitize Books". The University of Texas Libraries. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Wood, Carol, S. (2006-11-14). "U.Va. Library Joins the Google Books Library Project". University of Virginia. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "University of Wisconsin-Madison Google Digitization Initiative". University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 


External links[edit]