From the New York Times:
Google…plans to announce an agreement today with some of the nation's leading research libraries and Oxford University to begin converting their holdings into digital files that would be freely searchable over the Web.
It may be only a step on a long road toward the long-predicted global virtual library. But the collaboration of Google and research institutions that also include Harvard, the University of Michigan, Stanford and the New York Public Library is a major stride in an ambitious Internet effort by various parties. The goal is to expand the Web beyond its current valuable, if eclectic, body of material and create a digital card catalog and searchable library for the world's books, scholarly papers and special collections.
Google - newly wealthy from its stock offering last summer - has agreed to underwrite the projects being announced today while also adding its own technical abilities to the task of scanning and digitizing tens of thousands of pages a day at each library.
Read the whole thing.