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 The combined 7.2 million holdings of these libraries comprise one of the largest collections of historical documents and books to be found in the United States.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.
Will in-copyright books be included in the Wisconsin project?
We will concentrate on materials in the public domain such as historical documents, national, state and regional government publications and works published before 1923, as well as publications to which the university owns copyright.
What collections are being digitized?
The Wisconsin Initiative will involve identified collections of distinction, as well as high use, non-copyrighted collections that will include but not be limited to the following resources:
Federal and Wisconsin state documents, history of science, patents and discoveries, history of engineering, early publications of scientific societies, American and Wisconsin history, genealogical materials, decorative arts, visual/material culture are the types of public domain works that we intend to digitize.
The focus for the first year of the program has been genealogy collections, masters theses and PhD dissertations, state government documents and older collections from various libraries.
Are the Libraries violating copyright laws?
The Libraries will not violate copyright laws. This includes taking every effort to not violate the legitimate rights of content owners to control the distribution and use of works under copyright.
How does Google handle copyright?
Google is very respectful of copyright law. They have specifically designed Book Search to comply with it. Works in the public domain are available in full text. In the case of books they have digitized that are still protected by copyright, users will only get basic background (such as the book’s title and the author’s name), at most a few lines of text related to their search, and links to where they can buy or borrow a book.
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