Google has launched a virtual library - an online collection of scanned books. It includes such interesting documents as texts on the U.S. Civil War, government documents, and the writings of Henry James. The project has had a bumpy ride on its way, though.

Since announcing the project in 2004, the Google Print endeavour has triggered heavy criticism, particularly from publishers arguing that the plans would trample on copyrights. Google temporarily halted the scanning of books in August and both the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have filed copyright infringement lawsuits against Google.