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UC San Diego Becomes
First SoCal University to Contribute
Books to Google Book Search Library Project

Library project begins to digitize books in East Asian language
and School of International Relations & Pacific Studies collections

April 2, 2008

By Dolores Davies

The University of California, San Diego today announced its first shipment of books to be digitized as part of the Google Book Search Library Project, a global effort launched in 2004 to digitize collections from the world’s top universities and libraries to make them searchable and discoverable online.  The UC San Diego Libraries will contribute thousands of volumes from its East Asian language collections and from its International Relations & Pacific Studies Library, in such diverse subject areas as history, literature, public policy and economics.  UC San Diego is the first university in Southern California to contribute books to Google’s Book Search project.

Photo of books

The University of California joined the Google Book Search Library Project in 2006 and agreed to provide several million books from its university libraries for digitization. As part of the agreement, Google provides the University with digital copies of all books that are scanned. Other university libraries at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University and Oxford University are among those that have also partnered with Google.

“The preservation and provision of access to digital materials has long been a top priority for the UC San Diego Libraries,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego. “The library of the 21st century must effectively deliver knowledge and information in an increasingly hybrid environment where the physical and digital coexist.  We are thrilled to be a contributor and partner with Google in this effort because it greatly expands access to our collections for faculty, students and members of the public, which is an essential part of our mission.”

According to Schottlaender, the Google Library Project will also help the university libraries to digitally preserve  thousands of texts and scholarly materials, some of which are fragile and unable to support continued use.   Many are crumbling and would otherwise be lost forever.

“This will be an enormous benefit to scholars, students and others, both at UC San Diego and beyond,” said Martha Hruska, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services at UC San Diego Libraries.  Hruska, who is overseeing the Google project, said that the Libraries selected books from its Asian collections because of the significance of the university’s Pacific Rim studies.

Within several weeks, the digitized books will begin appearing in the Google Book Search index.   The search engine allows anyone to search the full text of books from libraries and publishing partners.  For books in the public domain, readers will be able to view, browse, and read the full texts online.  For books protected by copyright, users can access basic background (such as the book's title and the author's name), a few lines of text related to their search, and information about where they can borrow or buy a book.

Since the project’s inception in 2004, Google has digitized more than a million books from libraries and publishing partners throughout the world.  Google’s ultimate goal with the project is to make all of the knowledge contained within the world's books searchable and discoverable online.

With nearly 3.5 million print and digital resources in its collections, the UCSD Libraries are the largest academic library system south of Los Angeles. Comprising 9 distinct libraries ranging from art and oceanography to biomedicine and special collections, the UCSD Libraries rank in the top 25 U.S. public libraries among the members of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries.


Media Contact: Dolores Davies, 858-534-0667

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