The Library Project: Two years in

Thursday, December 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM

It was two years ago today that we first announced the Library Project and our first five library partners (Harvard University, the University of Michigan, the New York Public Library, Oxford University, and Stanford University). Together, book by book, we're digitizing these libraries' rich collections and making them discoverable and searchable online. We've already heard countless stories from students, researchers, and readers whose searches have led them to books from the vast collections of our library partners. One of our favorites is from Jan Perrier, a librarian in suburban New Jersey. She wrote:
A college student was home for the weekend and was here to do research for a paper on juvenile delinquency in London in the mid-19th century. Roxbury public library is a typical suburban library -- we have lots of cookbooks, car repair manuals, Danielle Steele books, James Patterson books -- we don't have any books at all on juvenile delinquency in London in the mid-19th century... We plugged a few key search words [into Google Book Search.] Within a few seconds we had a list of books; she found [a public domain] book that was held at Harvard University Library, and within minutes, was actually reading the book online.
(You can also see Jan tell her story in Google Video).

What else has happened? Well, our group of five initial partners has grown to nine, as we've since announced partnerships with four additional libraries: the University of California, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Complutense University of Madrid, and the University of Virginia. We are honored to work with this amazing collection of partners and look forward to hearing more stories like the one from Jan.


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