Google and The Future Of Libraries

Will all libraries eventually be digital?

Seems a pretty obvious question (answer: yes) but the process is surprisingly slow. I do research online and use databases like Questia but there’s still a hell of a lot that hasn’t been made available. And a lot of what is scanned has not been scanned well, unless the original material contained a lot of misspelled names.

Anyway, here’s a glimpse of what may be happening soon. From the excellent OnlineJournalism.com Newsletter — the daily news Weblog of the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review — is a link to a report from CyberJournalist.net, which in turn “keyed in on an anonymous tip buried deep inside a Sunday New York Times feature” on Google and Microsoft: “Apparently Google plans to digitize every post-1923 [[correction: should be pre-1923; makes more sense. Thanks Jim]] text within the Stanford University Library, creating an enormous copyright-free resource available solely to Google users. The ambitious operation is codenamed Project
Ocean, according to The Times’ unnamed source.”

Wow. That’s about 18 libraries, ranging from the Art and Architecture Library to the Linear Accelerator Center Library (although that link doesn’t work, which doesn’t augur particularly well…)

This on top of Google Print blurb search and Amazon’s Inside the book search (both are shameless links to postings on this very site.)

03. February 2004 by jeremy
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