Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Joins Google’s Library Project

June 6, 2007

The number of libraries participating in the Google Book Search Library Project just got a whole lot bigger with today’s addition of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The CIC is a national consortium of 12 research universities, including University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Google will work with the CIC to digitize select collections across all its libraries, up to 10 million volumes.

Readers will have access to many distinctive and unique collections held by the consortium. Users will be able to explore collections that are global in scope, like Northwestern’s Africana collection or dive deep into the universities’ unique Midwest heritage, including the University of Minnesota’s Scandinavian and forestry collections, Michigan State’s extensive holding in agriculture, Indiana University’s folklore collection, and the history and culture of Chicago collection at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Google will provide the CIC with a digital copy of the public domain materials digitized for this project. With these files, the consortium will create a first-of-its-kind shared digital repository of these works held across the CIC libraries. Both readers and libraries will benefit from this group effort:

  • The shared repository of public domain books will give faculty and students convenient access to a large and diverse online library before housed in separate locations.
  • This new collaboration will enable librarians to collectively archive materials over time, and allow researchers to access a vast array of material with searches customized for scholarly activity.

For books in the public domain, readers will be able to view, browse, and read the full texts online. For books protected by copyright, users will get basic background (such as the book’s title and the author’s name), at most a few lines of text related to their search, and information about where they can buy or borrow a book.

"This library digitization agreement is one of the largest cooperative actions of its kind in higher education," said CIC chairman Lawrence Dumas, provost of Northwestern University. "We have a collective ambition to share resources and work together to preserve the world’s printed treasures."

Two CIC member universities are already working with Google Book Search, the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and this new agreement will complement the digitization work already taking place.

The CIC becomes the latest partner in the Google Books Library Project, which in addition to the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison, also includes Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, the New York Public Library, Stanford University, University of California, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia, Princeton Library, the Complutense University of Madrid, the Bavarian State Library, the Library of Catalonia, the University Library of Lausanne and Ghent University Library. Google is also conducting a pilot project with the Library of Congress.

The Google Books Library Project digitizes books from major libraries around the world and makes their collections searchable on Google Book Search. More information can be found at:

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