Columbia’s Mass Digitization Project with Google is Underway


NEW YORK, October 28, 2008 Columbia University Libraries have begun work in partnership with Google, Inc. to digitize selected public domain printed volumes in the University Libraries’ collections. The Libraries are selecting from the hundreds of thousands of public domain volumes in the collections that may be legally copied and mounted online, including works in a wide variety of languages and scripts. Each volume will be unavailable for a period of time while it is being scanned. While an item is being scanned, patrons will see the following message in CLIO: “Being digitized. Try Borrow Direct or ILL.” For more information about obtaining items checked out in CLIO, see the Libraries’ Request It services at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/requestit/.

This multi-year project with Google will provide faculty, students, scholars, and readers around the world with an unprecedented ability to search, locate, and read books from the University's collections. Once our books and journals are digitized, they be available through Google Book Search, with links added directly from CLIO to the digitized versions as the project moves forward. Columbia will preserve the digital versions for future users as well.

As a research library, our mission is to collect material of value to teaching and scholarship, to connect people to the information in those resources, and to ensure access and preservation of our collections into the future. The digital collection resulting from this project will significantly advance our ability to serve Columbia’s academic community, as well as readers worldwide. For more information on the digitization project, see www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/news/libraries/2007/2007-12-13.google.html.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb is the gateway to its services and resources.

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