Internet technology firm Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) said that it is expanding its online catalog of searchable books today, adding more than a million books from the University of Texas at Austin to its ever expanding collection.

On Friday, the company announced it will be scanning and digitizing books from the nation’s fifth largest academic library, to make them available to researchers and historians worldwide.

World-renowned collections are being scanned, such as the university's Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, which includes a set of rare books and manuscripts relating to Mexico. It will be freely available to readers at the project’s completion.

The best collections of information are only as useful as the quality of the tools available for discovering and accessing that information, said Fred Heath, vice provost and director of libraries at the University of Texas. Joining with Google's Book Search program will mean that the intellectual content of our collections are discoverable by a much wider range of scholars and students.

For books protected by copyright, users will be able to see basic background - such as the book's title and the author's name - and a few lines of text related to their search, and information about where they can buy or borrow a book.

The initiative is part of Google's larger Books Library Project, which first started this summer.

A number of universities have participated in the program, including Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, University of Michigan and recently, the University of California.

Shares of Google were up $1.38, or 0.28 percent, to $489.21 in mid-day trading on the New York Stock Exchange.