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Updated 10:00 AM November 7, 2005
 

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U-M public domain works now online
and searchable through Google Print

U-M and Google, Inc. announced Nov. 3 that the first large collection of the University's public domain books is now available online through Google Print (http://print.google.com/).

The Google Print Library project is an ambitious effort to digitize and index millions of books from the world's foremost libraries, including almost 7 million volumes from University Library. The digitization project will provide scholars and the general public with an unprecedented ability to search for and locate books from the University's vast collection. The current offering encompasses a wide array of topics including, colonial era travel guides, civil war documentation, government reports and classic literature.

"Today, we welcome the world to our library," said President Mary Sue Coleman. "As educators we are inspired by the possibility of sharing these important works with people around the globe. Think of the doors it will open for students; geographical distance will no longer hamper research. Anyone with an Internet connection can search the text of and read the compelling narratives, historical accounts and classic works offered today, and in doing so access a world of ideas, knowledge and discovery."

Examples of public domain works available today from U-M include:

• Histories and travel accounts from the first 50 years of the Republic, and some of the first literature from those who called and thought of themselves as Americans. This includes "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" from 1818, 10 volumes of "The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution;" and "The Emigrant's Guide" from 1829 addressing "the taxpayers of England" and containing "information necessary to persons who are about to emigrate."

• U.S. Civil War regimental histories from New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

"One of the reasons we are so committed to digitizing these works is that as a university library our core mission includes the preservation of knowledge," says James Hilton, associate provost and interim University librarian. "The digitization project not only allows broad access today, but also preserves our library's collections for future generations."

Because public domain books are not under copyright, the full text is available through Google Print. Public domain books can be read in their entirety online and the full text of every book is searchable.

"This is just the beginning," says John Wilkin, associate University librarian. "We look forward to even more works being available on-line. The pace of Google's work is unprecedented."

These are only a few of the many works available. In addition U-M, Google has partnered with Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford universities and the New York Public Library. For more information and to see images, please visit Google Print: http://print.google.com/.

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