2 models for digitizing collections

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Google’s Library Project, which is in the process of digitizing millions of books at top university libraries around the world, announced a major expansion Wednesday: The 12 universities that make up the Committee on Institutional Cooperation have agreed to let Google digitize up to 10 million of their collective volumes — generally those from the most distinctive parts of their collections.

The announcement brings to 25 the number of universities involved in the Google project, which is being hailed by some scholars for the way it will assure online access to volumes that have been largely available only in a few locations and that are in danger of decomposition. The project will involve both books in the public domain and copyrighted materials — and the latter have been controversial. Groups of authors and publishers are suing Google over the Library Project, charging that it is infringing on copyrights, and those suing indicated that they would expect any eventual settlement in the case (should Google lose) to be applied to the additional works being added under the new agreement.

On the same day Google and the 12 universities made their announcement, Emory University announced a plan to digitize major portions of its collection — independent of Google and using an intentionally different model.

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