George Fitzgerald writes:
Regarding the item about Google digitizing books, Microsoft was staring to do many libraries on the Internet. One of these libraries was Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN. Microsoft decided to pull out of this and gave ten state of the art scanners to Archive.org which is located in the Allen County Public Library and several other libraries all over the country.
They are putting many books on line, the most books are from our Genealogy Library. They are also scanning books from other libraries. I am a Volunteer at the Library in Genealogy.
As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, closed last year and it was decided to give all of the documents to the Allen County Public Library (the artifacts are going the State Museum in Indianapolis). One of the reasons our Library got he collection is that they are going to scan the collection and put it on line. Another paper money collector, Bill Haines, has volunteered to scan some of the Collection. Bill is also a subscriber The E-Sylum.
I know I would like to put some numismatic items on this web site as I have many of thousands of books, catalogs and other items on coins and paper money.
Ben Keele writes:
I think the idea of digitizing the holdings of the ANS and ANA libraries' (public domain) holdings is a great idea, but Google may not be the best way to go. Some scholars have pointed out that Google has not been the best at quality control.
The Internet Archive (www.archive.org) also has a digitization program and, from what I've heard, tends to have higher, more consistent results. However the ANS or ANA go, they should be careful to ensure that strict quality controls are used.
Ben included a link to an article about the failings of Google books. The article is no longer available, but this blog post about it is. Here are some excerpts. -Editor
In its frenzy to digitize the holdings of its partner collections, in this case those of the Stanford University Libraries, Google Books has pursued a “good enough” scanning strategy. The books’ pages were hurriedly reproduced: No apparent quality control was employed, either during or after scanning. The result is that 29 percent of the pages in Volume 1 and 38 percent of the pages in Volume 2 are either skewed, blurred, swooshed, folded back, misplaced, or just plain missing. A few images even contain the fingers of the human page-turner. (Like a medieval scribe, he left his own pointing hand on the page!) Not bad, one might argue, for no charge and on your desktop. But now I’m dealing with a mutilated edition of a mutilated selection of a mutilated archive of a mutilated history of a mutilated kingdom — hardly the stuff of the positivist, empirical method I was trained in a generation ago.
A random spot-check of other Google-scanned books has yielded some better results, but the general drift is clear: good enough for our mutilated view of the past, rushed through the scanning process so that Google could lay claim to as many artifacts of our cultural past in as short a time and with as small a budget as possible.
To read the complete article, see: Google Books Mutilates the Printed Past (www.resourceshelf.com/2009/06/16/google-books
Wayne Homren, Editor
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