Monday, October 13, 2008

Preserving the Books in Goggle Digital Book Project

Jeffrey Young, “University Libraries in Google Project to Offer Backup Digital Library,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2008, reports on an effort to “create a stable backup of the digital books should Google go bankrupt or lose interest in the book-searching business.” Young reports, “The project is called HathiTrust, and so far it consists of the members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of the 11 universities in the Big Ten Conference and the University of Chicago, and the 10 campuses in the University of California system. The University of Virginia is joining the project, it will be announced today, and officials hope to bring in other colleges as well.” There is one problem: “Because most of the millions of books are still under copyright protection, the libraries cannot offer the full text of the books to people off their campuses, though they can reveal details like how many pages of a given volume contain any passage that a user searches for.”

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