Monday, October 31, 2005
Tomorrow is the day we said we'd resume scanning in-copyright works with our library partners as part of our initiative to build a card catalog of books with Google Print. We are in the process of resuming scanning (it may take a little time), so you should soon be able to search across more books from our partner libraries at print.google.com. We've already had great success working with publishers directly to add their works to our index through our Publisher Program, and when we add books with publisher permission, we can offer more information and a much richer user experience.
As always, the focus of our library effort is on scanning books that are unique to libraries including many public domain books, orphaned works and out-of-print titles. We're starting with library stacks that mostly contain older and out-of-circulation books, but also some newer books. That said, we want to make all books easier to find, and as we get through the older parts of the libraries we'll start scanning the stacks that house newer books.
These older books are the ones most inaccessible to users, and make up the vast majority of books – a conservative estimate would be 80 percent. Our digital card catalog will let people discover these books through Google search, see their bibliographic information, view short snippets related to their queries (never the full text), and offer them links to places where they can buy the book or find it in a local library.
We think that making books easier to find will be good for authors, publishers, and our users. We're excited to get back to work making a comprehensive, free, full-text card catalog of the world's books a reality. Happy searching!