When I talked with Carole Moore, the fantastic librarian from University of Toronto, about 6 years ago, she had a vision of scanning 250,000 books from their libraries. Well, a few days ago she succeeded. ( http://www.archive.org/details/university_of_toronto )
It has been a winding road to here, with financial help from Yahoo and Microsoft, from the Canadian government and from the University of Toronto– but she got there in grand style.
She had books from the 1400’s scanned, she has done all sorts of things with the able help from Jonathan Bengtson and Sian Meikle. The Internet Archive scanning center (our first) was started by Molly Davis and Gabe Juszel operating a cool page turning robot. The center is still run by Gabe with support from above and below and employs about 40 people.
All in all it is a hero librarian’s tale and a successful one.
250,000 books for free to the world from one of the great libraries in the world.
Go University of Toronto!
Digital Librarian, Internet Archive