University of Illinois joins the Open Content Alliance

by Michael Cook on March 7, 2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois has joined an alliance of educational institutions, Internet companies and other groups in the U.S. and abroad that is building a massive digital archive of public domain books for universal and free public access.

In addition to Illinois, other partners in the Open Content Alliance include Adobe Systems, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the universities of California, Chicago and Texas, and Yahoo!

Formed less than two years ago, the non-profit organization – now some 60 partners strong – announced in December that it already had digitized and made available 100,000 electronic books in the public domain, all downloadable through its parent company, the Internet Archive.

Illinois’ Library, with more than 10 million volumes and nearly 24 million items, is the largest public university collection in the world, and thus, in a position to contribute significantly to this alliance.

“Our partnership with OCA represents a very significant milestone for our Library, positioning us to share our rich collections much more easily with people in Illinois and throughout the world,” said Karen Schmidt, acting university librarian at Illinois.

“We can take our reputation for strong collections and progressive sharing of these resources to the next level through this digital work.”

On its home page, the OCA features Illinois’ first contribution to the alliance: 32 digitized books about Abraham Lincoln.

Late last year the U. of I. received nearly $1 million to invigorate its mass digitization program.

Extract taken from;

U. of I. joins group creating digital book archive accessible to public
News Bureau, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2/20/07

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