Statement on Use of Digital Archives
In January 2007 the University of Texas at Austin concluded an agreement with Google, Inc., that permits Google to digitize books from collections held by the University of Texas Libraries in order to make information about those books, and in some cases, the books themselves, available through Google Book Search. As part of that arrangement, Google agreed to provide copies of the digital files to the University. This statement explains what the library plans to do with those files.
What the Libraries Plan to Do
Libraries preserve the cultural memory and scholarly record as a public trust. These files are part of that memory and record. Because of the restrictions of copyright law, we will use the digital copies in different ways depending upon their copyright status. The University of Texas Libraries will be able to encourage full-text access to scanned books that are in the public domain. The Libraries may also take advantage of online, full-text public-domain holdings to explore how best to support scholarly research in the area of rapidly expanding full-text digital libraries. This could include linking to the full-text public domain works in the University’s online Library Catalog. Digital copies may also help us ensure cost-effective long-term access to the contents of brittle books in the public domain and to safeguard these materials from the potential risks of natural disasters.
What the Libraries Will Not Do
We are not getting out of the book collecting business. While many speculate that digital copies of in–copyright works will some day replace the need for books, an institution charged with collecting and preserving them can not view digital copies in the same way that a user might. From our perspective, digital copies do not eliminate our need to continue to acquire books or solve all the problems of preserving the books in our collections. Rather, we believe the existence of digital copies that can be searched against their full texts will encourage expanded use of the books in our collections by increasing their discoverability. So don’t look for a "going out of business" sale of our holdings any time soon.