University of Wisconsin - Madison Google Digitization Initiative

Ask a Librarian

Overview of the Google Library Initiative

  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries share Google’s mission to make the world’s great works of history and culture discoverable by anyone, anywhere in the world-simply by searching online.
  • The digitization program will expand access to resources from the UW-Madison Libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. The combined 7.2 million holdings of these libraries comprise one of the largest collections of historical documents and books to be found in the United States. These collections are ranked 11th in North America by the Association of Research Libraries in Washington, D.C.
  • The Wisconsin initiative will focus initially on public domain and historical collections that are free of copyright restrictions.

Who else is participating in this program?

The UW-Madison Libraries are the eighth library to participate in the Google Book Library Initiative. There are an ever growing number of libraries working with Google as part of this project: http://books.google.com/googlebooks/partners.html. Google is also conducting a pilot project with the Library of Congress.

What is the goal of this program?

The goal of the Google Library Initiative is to make the wealth of knowledge in libraries around the world discoverable by everyone with access to the Internet. The result of the project will be to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual catalog of books and resources.

Why did UW-Madison Libraries want to participate in this program?

The UW-Madison Libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society offer one of the largest collections of historical materials and public documents to be found in the United States. The combined 7.2 million holdings of these libraries are ranked 11th in North America by the Association of Research Libraries in Washington, D.C.

We want to make these important, and in many cases rare, materials searchable to people all over the world. Wisconsin is taking a leading role in providing access to public domain works for future generations and making the Library’s resources widely available for education and research.

How does this fit with the mission of the Libraries?

Part of the stated mission of the UW-Madison Libraries reads “...the Libraries support the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the university by providing access to and delivery of information. To that end the libraries acquire, organize, make accessible, and preserve sources of knowledge in all formats...”

A primary mission for any research library is to store, preserve, and provide access to materials. Participation in the Google Library Initiative will enable the Libraries to fulfill its mission by providing access to public domain materials in digital form for future generations. Free and unfettered access to the full text of digitized works contained in one of the nation's greatest research university libraries will be available online from anywhere in the world.

How many works will be digitized?

The Libraries will digitize and archive more than 500,000 volumes from the collections of the UW-Madison Libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society over the course of the six year program.

Is the agreement with Google exclusive?

No, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries agreement is non-exclusive; it does not prevent us from working with other groups or initiatives.

What about the privacy issues related to Google's Library Initiative?

Google takes privacy of their users extremely seriously. Their policy is outlined at the following Web site: http://books.google.com/privacy.html.

Who is funding this?

Google assumes the cost of digitization. The Libraries will be assuming the costs of technical processing before and after digitization.

How will this affect access to the collections?

The Libraries will be very careful about what books are sent and will try to minimize the impact on users. There will be short periods of time when some books may be inaccessible within the Libraries however library staff will do everything they can to obtain materials in a short period of time for users. All books included in the project have a note in the public catalog that indicates they are temporarily unavailable and lists a return date.


How can I get a book that indicates in MadCat that it is "temporarily unavailable. Being digitized."?

This item is being digitized as part of the Google Book Library Initiative. A hold can be placed by library staff; however, we recommend that you first try a UW System Search or a Library Express interlibrary loan request because of the length of time the title may be unavailable.


How long does it take for a title to appear in Google Book Search after it has been scanned?

All titles go through a quality check and copyright verification process before they are made available for viewing. Typically, the timeline is three to six months.

Where can I go to see a book digitized from a library?

For examples and screenshots of titles in Google Book Search, go to http://books.google.com/googlebooks/library.html.

For an example in full view from one of our collections, go to Genealogy of the Bell Family OR Elementary Practical Metallurgy.

For an example in snippet view from one of our collections, go to Foods of our Forefathers.


When will access to materials be available via MadCat?

Links to the digitized copy appear in MadCat records. The link "View Available Text Online" will lead to a page that provides links to the copy in Google Book Search and to the copy in HathiTrust. It will also identify whether the view will be limited, snippet or the full text. MadCat records may also display book covers and a direct link to Google Books for titles that have been scanned from other library partners and for which we have a print copy.


Some of the books are in full view, others in limited or snippet view, and others indicate no preview available. What is the difference between the views?

When you click on a search result for a book from the Library Initiative, you'll see basic bibliographic information about the book. The view available is based on whether the title is under copyright or is in the public domain. A complete explanation can be found at http://books.google.com/googlebooks/library.html

.

I am an author/publisher and want my books that are owned by the library scanned and made available in full text in Google Book Search. What is the procedure?

The easiest way would be for you to sign up for the Google Books Partner program. Once you have done so, let us know that you would like your book included in the project.


I am an author/publisher and do not want my books scanned and available on Google Book Search. What should I do?

You will need to provide Google with information about yourself and a list of books you do not want included on Google Book Search. The following link will get you started: How to have your book removed.

If you experience problems send an email to books-exclusion@google.com.


I found one of my books in Google Book Search and want it removed. What is the procedure?

If you are already a Google Books partner, you can add the title to your list of books that you do not want scanned. Log into your account and follow the instructions on the page. If the book is already on Google Book Search, send an email to books-support@google.com.

My Accounts arrowarrow