Federal Librarian Fall 2009

CIC-Google Government Documents Project Update October 2009

The libraries of the CIC universities are partnering with Google to digitize a comprehensive collection of U.S. Federal Documents. It is believed this collection will comprise between 1 and 1.5 million volumes. The workflow and scanning process for the initiative was tested by the University of Minnesota, which has sent Google approximately 85,000 duplicate holdings from its St. Paul campus. As the pilot phase of this initiative draws to completion, Pennsylvania State University is preparing to move the project forward by readying a portion of its collection for scanning. Digital facsimiles of successfully scanned Federal Documents from Minnesota and other CIC institutions — will be accessible through Google Book Search, with copies also being returned to the HathiTrust Digital Repository, where public domain material can be universally accessed.

This project is part of an overarching CIC Library Director-led initiative to assess the opportunities HathiTrust might provide for more cost-effective management of less frequently used print resources. With three CIC universities designated as comprehensive Regional Depositories for print documents (Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin), it is anticipated the Selective Depositories might be in a position to make coordinated decisions about print retention. The U.S. Federal Documents collection is one of several categories of material where our libraries believe they can achieve efficiencies by better managing the relationship between digital and print resources, with assurances that an adequate number of print copies are available for future use.

The CIC Library Directors have charged the CIC Steering Committee on Federal Documents Digitization with responsibility to plan this initiative. The Committee is completing a planning document that outlines steps for the project to continue, which will be reviewed by the CIC Library Directors in November 2009. A principles document has been developed to provide additional information on the project basics. Comments and questions are welcomed.

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