Google Books from the Big Ten … er, twelve

Publishers may not be so keen (even to the extent of making foolish gestures based on a misinterpretation of the situation), but twelve major United States universities can see the value in the Google Books project, and have agreed to having a significant part of their collections digitised. It’s won’t be an overnight process, thanks to the sheer man-hours involved, not to mention the price of the equipment – but the latter could fall in the wake of new technology like liquid camera lenses. At the other end of the scale, however, there are custom laser-wielding robots for creating 3D scans of millenia-old manuscripts.