[caption id="attachment_32411" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Google Book Search has about 12 million books available."]Google Book Search has about 12 million books available.[/caption]

Google Inc. is giving researchers nearly a half-million dollars to test the academic value of its rapidly growing online library.

The grants announced July 14 will be used to help pay for 12 humanities projects studying questions that will require sifting through thousands of books to reach meaningful conclusions.

Google is hoping the research will validate its long-held belief that making electronic copies of old books will bring greater enlightenment to the world. The...

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