Google has pledged $1 million (£665,000) to fund academic research projects dedicated to digitising literary works from all geographical locations and eras.
According to a post on the Google Research blog, the company plans to donate $1 million to a total of 12 projects at 15 universities planning to study the relationship between location and literature.
The Guardian reports that Google plans for the results to be presented using Google Earth.
One project, a collaboration to create 'Google Ancient Places' between the UK's Open University, the University of Southampton and the University of California at Berkeley, will allow users to search for books belonging to a specific location during a particular time period, which are then depicted on Google Maps or Earth.
In a statement, Jim Leach, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, said: “In the modern world, access to knowledge is becoming as central to advancing equal opportunity as access to the ballot box has proven to be the key to advancing political rights.”