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Message from the University Librarian:
Partnerships to Digitize Print Collections

UC Irvine and the other University of California libraries have joined a partnership with Yahoo and other universities in the Open Content Alliance (OCA) to build an openly available digital library with materials drawn from across the world.

For UC's first project, all UC libraries will contribute books and resources to create a digital collection of out-of-copyright American literature. Other contributors will focus on different subjects and genres to expand the permanent archive of digitized multilingual text and multimedia content. Subsequent UC projects are planned to include American fiction, historical works of mathematics, and 19th Century British poetry.

This project differs significantly from the projects currently underway between a number of universities and Google. The OCA projects focus on discrete, coherent subject collections that are research focused, and, initially, out of copyright. The collections will offer full-text access, based on principles of non-exclusive use, and will be available to read, and in most cases, download or print, as determined by contributors. The OCA consortium is global and includes commercial partners in an open and collaborative process to create a world-class research and educational resource.

UCI Libraries' books will be digitized by the nonprofit Internet Archive using a new technology that scans books at a high rate of speed for lower costs than other processes. Books and other materials will not be dismantled or damaged in this process, as is sometimes the case in microfilming. The materials, indexed by Yahoo, will be available from the UCI Libraries website www.lib.uci.edu as well as at the Open Content Alliance website www.opencontentalliance.org.

OCA's other partners include Columbia University, the University of Texas, the University of Toronto, the National Library of Australia, the National Archives (U.K.), Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. The OCA is continuing discussions with publishers to explore sustainable business models that allow more copyrighted content to be made widely available.

UCI Libraries are pleased to join the OCA and contribute to making our national intellectual and cultural heritage widely available online.


Gerald J. Munoff
University Librarian



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