Digitizing Initiatives

Digitizing initiatives with revenue and profit aspects

Google Books
Google Inc. collaborates with institutional libraries to digitize large quantities of books via the Google Books Library Project. The Google initiative to digitize the contents on the New York Public Library, plus the California, Harvard, Michigan, Oxford and Stanford university libraries, will result in a spectacular improvement in the ability of scholars, students and teachers to find relevant texts for further study.
Public domain books are available on an open access basis. Copyrighted material is treated in one of three ways. Google negotiates with cooperating publishers through its Google Books Partner Program for "Limited Preview" of selected entire pages, via search within the books by readers. For scanned books without copyright permissions, "snippets" from pages are available. For remaining books basic information is provided without ability to search within the book. The snippets inform readers about the relevance of the book to their subject of inquiry.
In June 2008 Google said about the service:
"For books that enter Book Search through the Library Project, what you see depends on the book's copyright status. We respect copyright law and the tremendous creative effort authors put into their work. If the book is in the public domain and therefore out of copyright, you can page through the entire book and even download it and read it offline. But if the book is under copyright, and the publisher or author is not part of the Partner Program, we only show basic information about the book, similar to a card catalog, and, in some cases, a few snippets -- sentences of your search terms in context..."
While few books on American art history are out of copyright, those in the Books Library Project will be of benefit to students and scholars alike. A Google Book Search conducted March 24, 2008 located 82,000 pages from books with the words "American art" and 7,760 pages from books with the phase "American art." Many offer either "Limited Preview" or "snippet" features.
A Google Book Search, on the publisher's name (e.g., inpublisher:"Hudson Hills") and limiting the search to Limited Preview and full view books, will indicate whether the publisher is participating in the Google Books Partner Program offering Snippit View, Limited Preview or Full Views.
Books with Snippit View, Limited Preview or Full Views features are fully digitized. Google Books provides a keyword search box in the pages describing individual books. Keyword search results show pages in the books containing the keywords. For Limited Preview books, not all keyword search results may be shown. For Full View books, full contents of the books may be read online. Images, however, are suppressed in some examples identified by TFAO.
A January 4, 2009 article in the New York Times titled "Google Hopes to Open a Trove of Little-Seen Books" said that "A settlement in October with authors and publishers who had brought two copyright lawsuits against Google will make it possible for users to read a far greater collection of books, including many still under copyright protection." The settlement allows for "...sales to consumers of digital access to copyrighted books. Google will take 37 percent of this revenue, leaving 63 percent for publishers and authors." The article reported that Google had scanned seven million books to date, with about five million in copyright but out of print.
Google Books and Art Museums
TFAO conducted in March 2008 through January 2009 a sample survey of museums' activity in providing free online access of their exhibition catalogues via Google Books. The survey, using Google Books as a research source, also identified books published by the museums that relate to TFAO's mission. For information about the survey please click here. TFAO found that relatively few museums have yet entered into arrangements with Google Books for online retrieval of book contents.
TFAO learned during the survey that the Hudson River Museum is in the process of having its books listed in Google Books, with some books scanned to date. A Google Book Search conducted June 19, 2008 located three books recently been published by the Museum online via Google Books with Full View. A Full View book may be read online without charge in its entirety. Images of art objects were deleted in the online Full View pages. The three catalogues are: Red Grooms: In the Studio, By Bartholomew Bland. Published 2008. The Hudson River Museum. Art / General. 32 pages. ISBN:0943651360; I WANT Candy: The Sweet Stuff in American Art, By Bartholomew F. Bland. Contributor Michael Botwinick. Published 2007. The Hudson River Museum. Art / General. 50 pages. ISBN:0943651344; Got Cow? Cattle in American Art, 1920-2000:, By Bartholomew F. Bland, Hudson River Museum. Published 2006. The Hudson River Museum. Art / General. 50 pages. ISBN:0943651328. Published in conjunction with an exhibition held at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, N.Y., June 24-Sept. 10, 2006. TFAO understands that the Hudson River Museum plans to continue working with Google Books to publish online certain new catalogues plus selected catalogues published on paper in prior years.
A March 24, 2008 publisher search in Google Books for Chazen Museum of Art yielded 190 titles with almost all of the books featuring "Limited Preview." Chazen Museum of Art is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin.
Commercial Publishers
Commercial publishers such as Abbeville Press, Harry N. Abrams and Hudson Hills Press publish many art books. In March 2008 TFAO found in the Abbeville Press web site 26 books with partially digitized contents excerpts including prefaces, prologues, introductions, chapters, table of contents and other excerpts. Here is an Abbeville book with the Introduction available online:
Southwestern Indian Jewelry, By Dexter Cirillo. Photographs by Stephen Northup, Michael Monteaux. Contributor Steven Northup, Michael Monteaux. Published 1992 by Abbeville Press. Abbeville says: "Spectacular photographs of the breathtaking beautiful objects and sensitive portraits of the artists combine with an insightful, informative text to capture the spirit of this work and the vital cultures from which it springs. This ground-breaking volume opens by surveying the vividly colored necklaces, earrings, and pins made in shell and stone from prehistoric times to the present, particularly in the Santo Domingo and Zuni pueblos. The focus then shifts to the much-admired and avidly collected work in silver -- often set with turquoise and other stones -- by Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni artists. The book culminates in an exploration of striking contemporary work in which many artists have adapted traditional approaches to create original designs. A collector's guide offers invaluable advice as well as an illustrated glossary of materials, techniques, objects, and designs. A nationwide directory of sources concludes the book." (right: front cover, Southwestern Indian Jewelry. Photo courtesy Google Books) Note: the Introduction to this book may be read at the Abbeville Press web site.
Click here for a list of Abbeville Press titles.
A May 1, 2008 Google Book Search check for Hudson Hill Press on the publisher's name (e.g., inpublisher:"Hudson Hills") and limiting the search to Limited Preview and full view books indicated 557 titles, many of which relate to American representational art.
University Presses
TFAO has conducted inquiries with university presses noted for publication of art exhibition catalogues. Web searches indicate that several presses have entered into arrangements with Amazon and/or Google or are close to decisions on digitization participation. Examples of university presses that have published American art books include those from these institutions:
Columbia University (Google partner)
Fordham University Press (Google partner)
Harvard University (Google partner)
Oxford University (Google partner)
Penn State (Google partner)
Princeton University (Google partner)
University of Arizona
University of California (Google partner)
University of Georgia (Google partner)
University of Illinois (Google partner)
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina (Google partner)
University of South Carolina (Google partner)
University of Pennsylvania (Google partner)
University of Texas (Google partner)
University of Washington
Yale University (Google partner)
When contacted in 2004, one large university press in the Western US had submitted about 1/2 of its titles with Amazon and Google. At that time the press has restricted digitization to text only and is studying rights and reproduction issues relating to images. A representative of the press explained that when books are sold online the authors still receive a share of proceeds in the form of royalties, forming an incentive for collaboration with the press. Copyright holders of images in books usually do not have royalty arrangements and therefore have less alignment of interests with publishers for digitization.
TFAO believes that university presses have a high propensity to cooperate with search engines and online books sales organizations in placing their books online for free retrieval of text in some manner.
Amazon.com produces page images, conducts OCR scanning, and makes available to registered users both text search and page image display for a large segment of the books it sells ("millions of pages"), on the premise that the results will enhance book sales. In a Wired.com article written by Gary Wolf titled "The Great Library of Amazonia" dated October 23, 2003, the Amazon.com project is discussed in detail. The article states further that "[Lawrence] Lessig, in partnership with Stanford University librarian Michael Keller, will soon announce a free program to digitize any out-of-print book whose copyright holder wants to make it available to the public."
TFAO surveyed a sample of 67 books containing page images from Amazon.com's inventory in February, 2004 and found that 24 books (36%) contained excerpts and 13 books (19%) contained the "search inside" feature. Please click here for a partial list of Amazon searchable American art titles.
The University of Virginia Press established the Electronic Imprint in 2001 and its series of publications known as Rotunda. The electronic publications website for the Press said that "Rotunda was created for the publication of original digital scholarship along with newly digitized critical and documentary editions in the humanities and social sciences. The collection combines the originality, intellectual rigor, and scholarly value of traditional peer-reviewed university press publishing with thoughtful technological innovation designed for scholars and students." Electronic Imprint said that digital scholarship "content can never be captured in its entirety by a printed book, no matter how long or heavily illustrated." A PDF file would not be digital scholarship because its content is exactly convertible to a printed book. On the other hand, digital scholarship would include texts with hyperlinks to quotation sources, audio and video files. As of October 2004 Electronic Imprint had not yet announced plans for publication of American art content.
As of October, 2012 TFAO could not yet find American art content on the website.
Artist and dealer websites
Caio Fonseca
Caio Fonseca's website section on books contains as of 2013 essays from catalogues including Inventions: Recent Paintings by Caio Fonseca, an exhibition held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Edan Milton Hughes
Edan Hughes published many biographical sketches online. Hughes is the foremost author of dictionaries on early California artists.
A Research Bonanza
The online content from sources such as covered above will be a boon to students and life long learners when conducting research.
During 2008 TFAO contacted leading American museums to learn of their plans to either directly digitize scholarly material owned in their exhibition catalogues or have commercial services such as Amazon and Google digitize for them. TFAO will track the progress of selected major presses in digitizing their titles. A prior survey was conducted in 2004.
Michael Lesk, a professor at Rutgers University, provides related insight into consumer purchasing behavior. He says: "The National Academy Press has, for a few years, been putting all their new books on the Web for free access, and providing the complete text of each book. To the surprise of many, the result has been an increase in their print sales. Similarly the Brookings Institute has put 100 of its books online free, and the paper sales of those books have doubled. This result is perhaps similar to the experience of record companies, which found years ago that having their records played free on the radio increased disk sales."


Digitizing initiatives not intended for profit

For information on digitizing initiatives not intended for profit please click here


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