Not content with bringing us all the knowledge of the internet, Google wants to expand on what it can bring us by working with Stanford and Harvard universities, among others, to digitize out-of-print and copyrighted works. As from today, the company will begin to sample some works already scanned for Google Print, the company's searchable index of books that it formally unveiled in October.

"Libraries have been the keepers of information for centuries. We're excited to unlock that wealth of Information." - Susan Wojcicki, Google's director of product management.

Faced with increased competition, Google is under pressure to bring something special to on-line searching, and has long said it plans to make the world's information accessible and searchable. Google, which itself sprang out of a library digitization project at Stanford, now has the technology to make these dreams a reality.