Sunday, October 12, 2008

Google Books

If you're interested in books written by patriotic American authors from centuries past, or you've heard of a title written by a given historical author, American or otherwise, and you've always wanted to get your hands on a copy but couldn't for whatever reason, I may well have information for you that could potentially help you out, and which you may not have been aware of.

Apparently Google has been hard at it for some time digitizing old titles and making them available online to the general public:

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world’s books discoverable online.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that’s often difficult to discover.

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book’s long journey from the publisher to a library and finally to you.

I congratulate the folks at Google for making these titles available to the general public online. If you have a title in mind just google it along with the name of the author. For instance "History of the United States by Noah Webster". If Google has indeed made a digital copy of your request, either a partial copy or a full copy, you will find the link to the book. Indeed, I've found and made my own cd copies of no less than nine separate titles by four separate authors in the last couple of weeks. Most of these are books I've known about for ten or fifteen years but didn't have access to (or which I didn't think I had access to) until my recent discovery. And I have a lot more of them to search.

Y'all enjoy.