Sea History 158 - Spring 2017

Page 52

by Peter McCracken


Using Google Books, HathiTrust, and other Online Book Sites oogle's goal to digitize the world 's libraries is one of its typical of their 53,000 titles are out of copyright. HathiTrust (https:// "shoot-for-the-moon" projects, which seem nearly impossible is a very large compiler of digital titles from until they turn out to be well on their way to reaching the many sources, including Google Books, the Internet Archive, goal. Its impact is already immeasurable, and will continue to and Microsoft. HathiTrust has a number of particularly valuable grow. Nevertheless, the project is not without its challenges, and features: you can choose to either search the full text of the books there is much one should know about the process and alternatives. available, or search the catalog that describes the books. If you Begun in secret in 2002 and launched publically in 2004, the want to look for a broad topic, like "Australian schooners," you concept was something that Google's cofounders always planned might try searching the catalog to locate books on the subj ect. to pursue. The project had both altruistic and commercial aims: If you want to look something more specific, then searching the it has always had a goal of making out-of-prim resources available full text for, say, "Wollongong schooners" might be better. You to anyone, but also has involved direct work with publishers to can use AND and OR terms when searching, and * as a wildcard earn revenue when making publishers' content findable, if not ac- (a search for "sail*" will return "sail," "sails," "sailors," "sailing," cessible. The addition oflibrary partners has greatly expanded the etc.), but there are few other advanced search functions. Most number ofout-of-copyright or out-of-prim books (and magazines!) importantly, if you can log in to HathiTrust as a member of a partner institution, you can then download PDFs of most titles, findable in Google Books. Results from Google Books will appear in a standard Google or create collections of specific books, across which you can then search, and you can separate them out by clicking on "Books," search within that collection. In fact, HathiTrust is often a better option than Google Books. between the search box and the results. (Sometimes, "Books" appears on the dropdown "More" menu.) You can also start yo ur Google makes blanket decisions about book access, while HathiTrust has a collection oflibrarian volunteers search at to working to investigate and determine copyright limit the initial search to books. There 495 whenever possible. For example, Google Books are two types of results: snippet view and ----,_ will only show snippets of Naval Documents full view. In the latter case, yo u can see -------·-·--133 ............... 12 ..... . . .... 130, !<Iii, 146 Related to the Quasi-War, a multi-volume set the full page of the book in question, --·--·- ••.••• IOI 100, 107, 111 , 112, 118, 121 ·······-------so of primary documents published by the US with yo ur search results highlighted 183, 3f9............... 332, 333, 336-.a37, 3IO, Government in the 1930s. Google does not on the page. The entire book may be --------------- 134,313 ---------------- 116,117 recognize that since the set was published by visible, or a few pages here and there -·············-··-·9S ······ · ·····------- -87 ------------------89 the US Government, it is thus not protected will be missing. This is for copyright -- ------ ------------322 1~------------------209 --- -- ---------------399 by copyright. It just sees a date later than 1922, reasons, not because Google skipped -------------------378 ·------------------ 136, 322 ----- - --------------322 and assumes it's in copyright. HathiTrust, on -- -- ------- ----- -----:,,'{Jg some pages. In snippet view, Google ,.. __ ____ __________________ 437 ----------------------3'22 other hand, will allow yo u to view the the has scanned the entire book but can - --- ----· · ········- --31 1,373 '- ---- · - -······ ··· ······· SD -----------------------448 tide, and if you're at one of the more than only show small portions of the text 11~ 64 rel. ••••• • ••••• • • ••• • ••• •••• 322 t. followfld ______ ____ _______ Iii 100 partner libraries, you can download every because copyright owners have required -------------i4f 200~2of 26a. :z11 -------------------------- ass (In this case, you can also download volume. that they not share the complete text, --------------------· ·····240 --- - -------- --------------- · 3S8 '"····· · ······· ······....... 388 these tides from the nascent American Naval or even large portions of it. -~~B.19;~;.-_::::::::::::::.~67, i~ Records Society, at Google Books is not without prob1'11, Muter...................... 388 --------------- ---------------388 .vmond--- -·-···············--·· 388 lems. The OCR (Optical Character anrs/quasi.html.) .. m. U.S. S. lllhiiifm /Ind PruUPI ___ •....•.... 136, 322 ~---- - ---------- --------------4.24 Sometimes, there's nothing like having a Recognition) text conversion has been ·-- --- ---------------- - - ---- - ----456 ........ ___________ Loti1i•---------____________________ --- ---- --·---- 410 383 abip prim copy of a tide. Used booksellers, such as problematic, at times. Try searching - - --------- ----------------------3g1 397 ABE Books (, for "modem" in 19'h-century tides, "' "" 262 256 are often your best bet. is a for instance-these will nearly always 181 "' frustrating option, because most options come be a poorly interpreted version of the 322 "' -- -- -------------31}2 ------------136,3'22 from vendors who will simply pass on the order word "modern." In addition, the meta-------------- v , 199 -- ------------386 ------------256 to a prim-on-demand publisher, who will print data-the information describing each a copy of the Google Books version, errors and tide-is sometimes incorrect, making all. When looking at purchasing options on it hard to find some items, particularly volumes in a series, like the Navy Records Society volumes. Google used-book websites, be careful what you select. Some sellers will uses high-volume, large-scale workflows, and correcting errors include images of the actual copy you're buying, so you'll know it's here and there is generally not worth their time. Occasionally, original, but if the listed publisher is a university or a library, that's the scans will show pages in the process of being turned, like this metadara taken straight from Google, and you'll almost certainly receive a prim-on-demand copy of the Google scan. example I found last year. Suggestions for other sites worth mentioning are welcome at Other digitization projects certainly exist. Project Gutenberg ( was started in 1971 (really!); text See for a free compilawas manually keyed in until 1989, when scanners began being tion of over 150,000 ship names from indexes to dozens of books used. Each tide is available in multiple formats, and nearly all and journals. J,


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