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November 22, 2005

Google to digitize rare documents from around the world

Google has pledged to donate $3 million to the U.S. Library of Congress. They are going to help setup a system in place for creating digital copies of rare documents from around the world. This is just the latest step being taken by the search engine giant to expand the scope of their Google Book Search initiative earlier called Google Print.

With this announcement, Google becomes the first tech company to back the World Digital Library, a concept that began to take shape about five months ago. The program is loosely based on a similar plan called Library of Congress’ American Memory project, which was launched some 11 years ago.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that this investment required little decision making as it goes on to help them achieve their goals of making the entire information available in the world available for search on the internet. Brin said during a Monday interview: "This is a philanthropic initiative for us. It’s all about making more information available to more people."

"We are trying to do a documentary record of other great cultures of the world. How much we will be able to do will depend on how many additional partners we attract," said James Billington, librarian of Congress.

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