Google Makes Public Domain Books Accessible To The World

Google Print Unveils Collection of Public Domain Books from Libraries at University of Michigan, Harvard, Stanford, and the New York Public Library

Mountain View, Calif. Nov. 3, 2005 – Today, Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced the availability of the first large collection of public domain books on Google Print. This collection, scanned as part of the company’s book digitization project with several of the world’s largest libraries, includes works such as U.S. Civil War history books, government documents, the writings of Henry James and other materials.

Because they’re out of copyright, these cultural artifacts can be read in their entirety online at, where anyone can search and browse every page. They are fully searchable and users can save individual page images.

"Today we welcome the world to our library," said Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michigan . "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 the public domain books available on Google Print today include:

  • Civil War regimental histories and early American writings from the University of Michigan

  • Congressional acts and other government documents from Stanford

  • The works of Henry James from Harvard

  • Biographies of New York citizens and other collected biographies from the New York Public Library

More information and images of pages from these materials can be found on the Google Blog at These works however are just a small fraction of the information that will eventually be made available as a result of Google Print.

"Our goal is to make these public domain books and the knowledge within them accessible to the world," said Susan Wojcicki, vice president of Product Management at Google. "Any researcher or student, whether they’re in New York or New Delhi can now research and learn from these books that previously were only available in a library. This underscores the value of Google Print and the work we’re undertaking with our library partners."

The Google Print program was introduced in the fall of 2004 to help users search through the oceans of information contained in the world’s books and to help authors and publishers promote their books and expand their sales. Google is working directly with publishers through the Google Print Publisher Program and libraries through the Google Print Library Project to digitize the world’s books.

Users can visit to search only the Google Print index for book results; however, the Google Print index is also integrated into web search results pages. As they can with web pages, users can search the full text of every book Google has scanned and, when they find a book that interests them, view a card catalog-like entry with brief excerpts of their search term in context. Users can only see more of any book they find if the book is out of copyright or if the publisher has given explicit permission to show full pages of a limited portion of the book.

About Google Inc.

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Nate Tyler
Google Inc.
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