Breaking Down The Google Print 5 Libraries

If you’re interested in learning about the print book collections of the five libraries Google plans to scan/digitize (assuming all goes as planned), a new article in Digital Libraries: Anatomy of Aggregate Collections, uses data from OCLC’s WorldCat (the largest bibliographic database in the world) to provide breakdowns and comparisons.

From the article:

This article offers some perspectives on GPLP in light of what is known about library print book collections in general, and those of the Google 5 in particular, from information in OCLC’s WorldCat bibliographic database and holdings file. Questions addressed include:

  • Coverage: What proportion of the system-wide print book collection will GPLP potentially cover? What is the degree of holdings overlap across the print book collections of the five participating libraries?
  • Language: What is the distribution of languages associated with the print books held by the GPLP libraries? Which languages are predominant?
  • Copyright: What proportion of the GPLP libraries’ print book holdings are out of copyright?
  • Works: How many distinct works are represented in the holdings of the GPLP libraries? How does a focus on works impact coverage and holdings overlap?
  • Convergence: What are the effects on coverage of using a different set of five libraries? What are the effects of adding the holdings of additional libraries to those of the GPLP libraries, and how do these effects vary by library type?

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