Google Library Project Gets Japanese Partner

    July 11, 2007

For a while there, Google was gaining partners for its Books Library Project on what seemed like a daily basis.  That rush (appears to have) stopped, but now one more school has signed up: Japan’s Keio University.

“Keio University became the latest partner to join Google Books Library Project, and our first library partner in Japan,” states Laura DeBonis, Director of Google’s Book Search Library Partnerships.  “Working together, Google and the Keio University Library will digitize at least 120,000 public domain books . . . so that readers around the world can view, browse, read, and even download public domain materials by simply searching online at”

DeBonis then notes that would-be users “can also search these books by typing your search term in Japanese on”

This is all part of Google’s effort “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – many other recent Library Project partnerships have also involved countries in which English is not the dominant language.  (See examples in Belgium, Switzerland, and India, if you’re interested.)

Professor S. Sugiyama, Director of the Keio University Library, also emphasized global matters with his comment on the Inside Google Book Search Blog.  “The Google project allows us to make our collections visible worldwide, allowing us to contribute to research and education on a global scale,” he wrote.

Professor Sugiyama continues, “Our university was founded in 1858 by Yukichi Fukuzawa, who was well known for his commitment to bringing information and media forward into the modern age.  This makes Keio ideally suited to be the first Japanese library to participate in Google Book Search.”

Hat tip to Bloomberg’s Ari Levy.