The University of California (UC) system has inked a pact with search giant Google to digitise millions of books in its libraries as part of the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm's Google Books Library Project, an initiative that aims to digitise volumes from the world's vast array of libraries and make content available online.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Others parties that have joined Google in its digitisation efforts include the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Harvard University and the New York Public Library, among others. The UC network includes 10 campuses across the state that are home to some 34 million library books, and though UC has not specified which books will be digitised, it has said millions of volumes will be scanned under the initiative. As part of the deal, Google will foot the bill for the books' scanning, and the UC system will be responsible for initial start-up fees and maintenance to the tune of one to multiple millions of dollars for the first year and hundreds of thousands of dollars each additional year. A handful of the parties involved in the Google Books Library Project have chosen not to scan copyrighted works, but the UC system will allow some copyrighted material to be digitised.