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veritasHarvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1332 July 2006

Harvard University Library Notes / July 2006 / No. 1332

The Harvard-Google Project: An Update from Dale Flecker

Current Status
Until Google completes construction of a large-scale digitization facility in the Boston area, we will continue to digitize books, primarily from Widener, at the same rate as during the pilot project. Harvard books are beginning to appear in Google Book Search in significant quantities. See sample Harvard books at:




Project Manager
Sue Kriegsman, previously the digital projects librarian in HUL's Office for Information Systems, will serve as manager of the Harvard-Google Project. She has already begun working with the individual libraries to plan the pulling and return of books from their collections, and will serve as liaison to Google for all operational aspects of the project. Questions about these aspects of the project should be directed to Kriegsman at 5-3724 or suzanne_kriegsman@harvard.edu.

Project Planning
We expect to ramp up to full production later this fall. About 30 libraries will likely participate in the project. Over this summer we are doing surveys of many of the collections to gather information for use in scheduling the sequence and timing of participation of the various libraries. Google and Harvard are working together to select a vendor who will be responsible for pulling and returning books to library shelves. Over the summer, Google, Harvard, and the chosen vendor will design a detailed workflow for pulling, scanning, and returning books from the collections. In addition to books from the open library collections, public-domain works from the collections at HD will also be included in the project.

Protecting Harvard's Books There is a great effort under way to avoid any undue strain on the physical collections during the project. Staff from the Weissman Preservation Center and from HCL's Collections Conservation group have been assisting Google to ensure safe book handling practices for selecting books, placing them on book trucks, scanning, and returning them to the shelves.

Open Meeting
An open meeting about the Harvard-Google Project will be held later this summer. The announcement will be made on HULINFO.

Dale Flecker is associate director of the Harvard University Library for systems and planning.


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