New Google Books Library Project Timeline: Now With (more) Citations!

It seemed like this inspired some interest even in sketchy form, so I thought I should flesh it out a bit, and make it more useful. I’ve added citations to the info provided below. Where the source is my own dissertation interviews (with librarians and Googlers involved in the project), I’ve used the notation (INT). I still consider this a living document, and so reserve the right to add to it as I continue to write things up more formally.

1996 Backrub, precursor to PageRank, developed based on principles/ideas from scholarly publishing/citation linking (widely known; e.g. Battelle 2005, Levy 2011, also the official Google Books History page)
1998 Google search engine launches
2001 First talks between Larry Page and librarians at the University of Michigan (INT)
2002 Talks underway in earnest at UM and Stanford; Larry Page still personally involved; Monthly calls btw Google & UM (INT)
2003 Oxford, NYPL, Harvard brought in on discussions (INT)
2003 (December) Google Print publisher project first publicly discussed
2004 (Spring) Contracts signed with G5 libraries (e.g., Michigan’s; the others are not public, but logic would suggest that they must have been signed around the same time)
2004 Pilot scanning at U. of Michigan; role of library partnerships manager(s) created (INT)
2004 (August 19) Google IPO (August 19) (Widely publicized; the founders’ IPO letter is one source)
2004 (December 14) Google Print Library Project announced (Harvard internally 1 day before everyone else)
2005 Scanning begins at G5 libraries (Stanford = March); Google starts building out additional scanning centers (INT)
2005 Dan Clancy hired to manage project (INT; also on his public LinkedIn profile)
2005 (September-October) Lawsuits filed by AG, AAP (about a million possible refs – most comprehensive for all things lawsuit-related is The Public Index)
2005 (November) Google changes name of project to Google Book Search
2006 Google hits 1 million volumes; rate of scanning increases; Doug Kuch hired to run logistics for GBLP (all INT). Three U.S. scanning centers in operation (to my knowledge): Mountain View (CA), Ann Arbor (MI), Cambridge (MA) (INT).
2006 Partners added: U of California (August), Universidad Complutense de Madrid (September), U of Wisconsin (October), U of Virginia (November)
2007 Partners added: U of Texas (January), Biblioteca de Catalunya (January), Princeton (February), Bavarian State Library (March), Lausanne (May), Ghent (May), Mysore (May), CIC (June), Keio (July), Cornell (August), Columbia (December)
2007 NYPL begins to offer access to its scans via its catalog
2008 Google finishes scanning materials from Harvard and Oxford (INT) – I suspect NYPL also finished around this time, but have no direct substantiation for that.
2008 (February) University of Michigan reaches 1 million books scanned
2008 (October) Settlement Agreement first proposed (info at The Public Index); HathiTrust Launched
2008 (November) Google reaches 7 million volumes (6 million from libraries)
2009 (November) Revised Settlement Agreement put forward; some library contracts revised in its wake (in anticipation of its approval) (info at The Public Index; also amended contracts for Michigan, Wisconsin, and Texas)
2009 (December) French court loss; no more scanning in-copyright books in France
2010 Partners added: Italian Ministry of Culture (March), Austrian National Library (June), Dutch National Library (July)
2010 (June) Google reaches 12 million volumes
2011 Partners added: Czech National Library (February), British Library (June)
2011 (March) Settlement Agreement rejected by court
2011 (October) Google shuts down Mountain View scanning center, leaving Ann Arbor as the sole remaining scanning center in the United States; rate of scanning decreased (INT)
2012 (January) HathiTrust reaches 10 million volumes
2012 (March) Google reaches 20 million volumes
2013 (April) Google reaches 30 million volumes [Update 7/15/13: This is not a figure Google stands behind; their public number is still 20 million (so says a source at Google)]

2 thoughts on “New Google Books Library Project Timeline: Now With (more) Citations!

  1. Pingback: Draft Open Content Alliance Timeline | Elisabeth Jones

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