) has agreed to digitize some 800,000 books and manuscripts at the University of Mysore, in Karnataka, India.
Some of the documents are written on palm leaves, and some on paper. Among them, India’s first political treatise, the Arthasastra, dating from the fourth century BC.
J. Shashidhara Prasad, vice chancellor of the university, said in a statement, the project would “restore and preserve this cultural heritage for effective dissemination of knowledge." "Google will be digitizing these manuscripts as well as 700,000 other books free-of-cost. The idea behind digitizing for free is to get free links to these materials once the necessary patenting is complete," Prasad stated.
Google will also provide expertise, software, and manpower for the digitization work. Also, Mysore University is training some of its select Physics students to help in the digitization process. No time frame has been given by the university on the completion of the project.
The Mysore project joins a growing list of Google scanning efforts overseas including a library-scanning endeavor for the University of Oxford and five more similar institutions overseas.
Pradip Bhatacharya is a contributing writer for TMCnet.