Google Books and Smathers Libraries

Since 2019 UF has digitized more than 60,000 books through participation in mass digitization projects with Google. By project completion, the Smathers Libraries will have digitized hundreds of thousands of materials. Google Books is digitizing collections unique to the University of Florida, like the Latin American and Caribbean Collection and the Judaica Collection. Digitizing these collections gives students, faculty, researchers and the public expanded access to knowledge and helps UF meet the following goals:

  1. Enhance student and faculty research by increasing awareness, discovery and access to UF’s collections
  2. Open new fields of academic inquiry and scholarship
  3. Fulfill the public service mission by opening access to works in the public domain
  4. Ensure long term availability of UF collections by preserving and protecting the content

The Google Books Library Project makes it possible for users to search through millions of books written in many different languages, including books that are rare, out of print, or generally unavailable outside of the library system. If a book from the Library Project is determined to be in the public domain, it is fully available to the public and users can read the book from start to finish. Google works with many libraries from around the world to include their collections in Google Books. The Libraries receive a digital copy of every book scanned to preserve and make available to their patrons where copyright law allows.

This project provides greater access to items that would otherwise only be available physically. This process provides greater security for those items, allowing UF to provide digital access, rather than sending unique, rare, or damaged physical items and risking loss or further damage to those materials.

This project provides books to underserved populations all over the world.

Contact: Pat Reakes, Senior Associate Dean, with questions about this initiative