In what appears to be a major expansion of the Google Print service, Google is set to begin an ambitious project of scanning hard-to-find books from five major library collections: New York Public Library, Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford in England. It’s estimated that the project could take more than a decade to complete given the volume of texts to scan.
As stated in the policies for Google Print, Google will only offer a glimpse of a book – the page matching your search terms plus two pages forward and back. There is also no way to copy or print text. However, unrestricted access will be provided to all material in the public domain which are no longer covered by copyright.
For more, see today’s New York Times and USA Today
Correction (12/14 at 11:15 am): It looks like the new Google project won’t be using the same policies as Google Print after all. According to a U of M News Service announcement:
A Google search returning results from a book in copyright will display three “snippets” of text from throughout the volume, a count of how many times total that search term appears in the book, bibliographic data associated with the book, and information on where to buy the book or find it at a local library. A “snippet” consists of approximately 3 lines of content.