What an amazing achievement:
In a very few years all 7.5 million bound volumes (that must include magazines and newspapers) will be searchable, by anyone, anywhere. That is right the University of Michigan will allow searching of its collections by anyone (not reading of entire volumes or even pages, for reasons of copyright, but searching). It can hardly be imagined what potential this has for scholarship (especially in the humanities). Michigan’s reputation will soar (rightly). Universities are highly competitive and international competition is getting more urgent, this is a knowledge race. Michigan will be at the head of a chasing pack.
We can be sure that this is putting competitive heat on universities and their planners everywhere. The book publishing industry and the magazine industry are well behind in rising to meet this challenge, whereas the scientific periodical publishers have matters well in hand (not quite as well in hand as Google).