More than one million library materials on campus have been digitized through the Google Michigan Digitization Project over the past few years, but because the technology remains a closely guarded secret, the project remains a mystery to many.
The goal is to have all 7.5 million print items in the University’s collection scanned by 2010 and available online through Google Book Search. All University students and faculty will be able to access every volume through the library’s online database, MBooks.
When the Digitization project began in 2004, Google scanned an average of 5,000 University items per year. At one in point in 2006, books were being scanned at a rate of 30,000 per week.
By the time the program reaches its most advanced state, Google plans to scan more than 1 million items per year.
Google has also teamed with the New York Public Library and libraries at Harvard University, Princeton University and the entire University of California system to digitize printed volumes in those collections.
In each of these partnerships, Google is covering the whole cost of converting the materials. The company has propriety innovative scanning technology specifically for these library projects.
The University scanned its millionth book in February. By that point, 42 terabytes worth of University library materials had been converted and made available online.
Earlier this month, the University library announced that MBooks, will become part of the HathiTrust, a shared digital repository for University library content. This allows University students and faculty to have access to other books, journals and documents previously unavailable through MBooks.
Currently, books from the fifth floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library are being scanned. The Dentistry Library, Taubman Medical Library, Social Work Library, Art, Architecture and Engineering Library and large portions of the Buhr remote shelving facility have been completed.