- Google is working with Stanford, the University of Michigan, Harvard, Oxford, and the New York Public Library to make millions of books available in its index.
The idea that the world's knowledge, as held through books and libraries, is opening up to all via a web browser cannot be understated. It's one thing to have the an original copy of The Origin of Species on the shelves, where students and interested parties have to travel to find it. It's another to have it available to everyone via a search index and your web browser.
This could well be a step toward diversifying Google's revenue streams away from advertising and into ... the content business ... Google is not doing this only out of the kindness of its heart - there is a lot of money to be made in selling books, in particular books with no copyright.
Update: Felicia Lee from the New York Times writes about Google Library and the reaction to it from scholars.
Update: Tara Calishain posts that the Internet Archive is expanding its text archive with support from ten international universities.