No holds barred cage match. Well not exactly. If you’re on the “Google is Evil” side then you should check out the Hathitrust Digital Repository. In the spirit of digital=accessible, a group of 25 university libraries have contributed their digital collections (though not all in full-text) to this open access project. Ironically many of the digital versions of books included here sport the “digitized by Google” brand along with “Original from….” branding so even those with a sense of suspicion over Google’s long term vision for their Google Book Search project, will have to concede a certain amount of gratitude for the search engine giant’s efforts to preserve culture (despite potential long term commercial monopolization of digital versions).
Check out their stats so far:
452,740 volumes (~16% of total)
in the public domain
To learn more about the Google Book Search Settlement from a library perspective, check out this collection of links from Library Journal.