With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Million Book Project was initiated by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. The primary long-term objective is to transfer all books not in copyright into digital format, in partnerships with other scanning centers internationally, in order to create a Universal Digital Library. It is a collaborative scheme among the international universities and libraries from the USA, China, India, Egypt, Qatar, Italy, Poland and Australia .

ICUDL 2009 marks the fifth in a series of International Conferences on the Universal Digital Library (UDL). The vision of the UDL is to create a global knowledge resource to preserve digitally and to provide free access to all human knowledge. This vision has been broadened from “books” to include other knowledge formats, such as multi-media and monuments. The theme of this year’s conference, “Global Collaboration for a Global Digital Library” furthers the themes and directions of previous ICUDL meetings.

The conference will build on the knowledge of the Universal Digital Library of past conference and move forward the collaborative agenda of UDL partners. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Million Book Project (MBP), a foundation for the UDL, is considered a first milestone towards building this digital library with a free-to-read, searchable collection of one million books in various languages belonging to a diverse range of cultures and civilizations available to people worldwide over the Internet. The annual workshop for the MBP will be held in conjunction with the conference.

The goal of this conference is to provide a forum for library and IT professionals to exchange comprehensive views on the recent development and progress in digital library technology, to promote international cooperation in related fields, to advocate universal access to information, and to enhance the global impact of the Universal Digital Library Project.

Recognizing the ICUDL 2009 mission, eminent researchers, scientists and decision makers from all over the world will meet in Pittsburgh, November 6-8, 2009. Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, one of the first in the nation, will provide a vibrant intellectual backdrop for the meeting. Carnegie Mellon is pleased to host this conference and to welcome attendees from all over the world in the shaping of the present and future in digital libraries.