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The University of Texas Libraries Partner with Google to Digitize Books

The University of Texas at Austin has become the newest partner in a broad book digitization project with Google.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin has become the newest partner in a broad book digitization project with Google.

The partnership between the University of Texas Libraries and Google is part of the Google Books Library Project, a project started in December 2004, initially to digitize books drawn from the libraries of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University and the New York Public Library.

In the course of the multi-year project, Google will digitize at least one million volumes from the University of Texas Libraries’ collections, working from selection lists prepared by the Libraries.

“We are excited to join the Google Books digitization effort, and feel it advances the mission of The University of Texas at Austin,” said William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. “Creating digital access to our library collections will enable a great many more scholars and members of the public to locate and use these tremendously valuable materials.”

The digitized books will all be fully searchable through Google Book Search. Google pays particular attention to copyright law and has specifically designed Book Search to comply with it. Anyone will be able to freely view, browse and read the university’s public domain books, including a number of unique treasures in the Libraries’ historic collections.

For books protected by copyright, users will only be provided the basic background information (such as the book’s title and the author’s name), at most a few lines of text related to their search and information about where they can borrow or buy the book. Publishers or authors who wish not to have their books digitized can be omitted from inclusion in the project.

For works in both categories, the digitization project offers important advantages in visibility of books for potential users and assists in long-term preservation of the information carried within their covers.

“University libraries in our society are entrusted with the critical mission of collecting and providing access to information spanning the entire range of human knowledge,” said Fred Heath, vice provost and director of libraries at the university. “Our libraries are also responsible for effectively preserving this knowledge and ensuring access to it over vast periods of time. At The University of Texas at Austin, we hold a deep commitment to each of these objectives and believe that participating in this venture will help ensure our ability to meet those commitments far into the future.”

According to Dennis Dillon, associate director for research services for the Libraries, the digitization project will increase the effectiveness of the Libraries’ collections.

“Intellectual discovery is at the heart of the scholarly research process,” he said. “The best collections of information are only as useful as the quality of the tools available for discovering and accessing that information. Joining with Google’s Book Search program will mean that the intellectual content of our collections are discoverable by a much wider range of scholars and students.”

About The University of Texas Libraries

The collections of The University of Texas Libraries are the result of more than one hundred years of commitment to building one of the great library collections in the world. Containing more than nine million volumes and providing access to the latest electronic research materials, the library collects, preserves and provides access to the intellectual products of human inquiry in all formats.  With 13 physical locations, the library system circulates more than 2.5 million items annually and also houses some of the nation’s leading special collections, among them the world renowned Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection’s 950,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets. The University of Texas Libraries have played a leading role in developing online resources such as the Perry-Castañeda Library’s digital map collection.

About the Google Books Library Project

The Google Books Library Project digitizes books from major libraries around the world and makes them searchable on Google Book Search.

For more information contact: Doug Barnett, University of Texas Libraries, 512-495-4388.