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Page history last edited by WoW!ter 7 years, 3 months ago

At this moment books search on the Web has been in the focus of much attention. Libraries and their catalogues were once the only means of access to book information. In 1971 the first books scanning project, project Gutenberg, was started and this has sparked many dispersed book scanning projects. Google Print, later renamed Google Book search initiated a stir of emotions when they announced to start scanning all books from five major research libraries. The debate focuses on the issues of copyright laws. Can Google just go ahead and scan all this intellectual property? Since then rival initiatives started, with Live book Search only announcing its first results last week.

Apart from these developments, commercial publishers are now digitizing their production as well, still searching a best commercial model. Wageningen UR Library offers access to the Oxford Reference Collection online and the economics and finance collection of Oxford Scholarship online


So we have to cover three separate aspects of book search

  • Library catalogues
  • Book scanning projects
  • Aggregated book scanning projects
  • Commercial publishers



Library catalogs http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/clc

Is just an example of a library catalogue. A unique feature of our catalogue is the fairly comprehensive linking to the full text version whenever possible. Browsing is encouraged through the keywords or the subject categories.


Open Worldcat http://www.worldcat.org/

Worldcat describes some 75 million book titles, or over a billion copies located in 1000's of libraries all over the world. Worldcat facilitates locating copies nearest to you.


Book Scanning Projects

Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/

Since 1971 Project Gutenberg has scanned some 20,000 books in many languages. The catalogue function used to search only for the meta data, but Google and Yahoo are employed to search within the full text as well. Project Gutenberg contains two kinds of collections: hard copy materials (such as books) that have been scanned and converted to plain text via optical character recognition (OCR) software, and newer documents that started out in digital form. Both can be linked by subject, keyword, or meta information. Images can be tagged with keywords to enable searching in an otherwise plain text environment.


Google Book Search http://books.google.com/

Google Book Search and its predecessor Google Print have been around for quite some time. It started with a publisher program, but Google Book Search got the real press when they announced their Library Program. As a result, Google offers free available full text and limited previews of books under copyright. The access differs between countries, since copyright laws differ. Currently Google interprets copyright rather strict outside the USA. The lawsuits over the library scanning projects have not been settled yet.


Open Content Alliance (OCA) http://www.opencontentalliance.org/

A collection of collaborators that work on scanning and preserving books in electronic form. Among its partners are Yahoo and Microsoft and the Internet Archive. OCA should be seen as an answer to Google Books Search.


Hathi Trust http://www.hathitrust.org/

HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.


Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/texts

Contains some 1.6 million books. Scanned by the OCA project and elsewhere/


The Million Book Project http://www.ulib.org/

A less well known, but impressive books scanning programme. As of November 2007 a million books have been scanned, but the counter hasn't been updated since. Some more information is found in the Wikipedia


The European Library http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/portal/index.html

More than six million books, documents and other culturally significant works should become available online in the new European Digital Library during the next five years, thanks to the information society technologies (IST) programme TEL-ME-MOR.


Aggregation of book scanning projects

Online Books Page http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

A collection of more than 25,000 free electronic books. Collected by John Mark Ockerbloom from the University of Pennsylvania Library. Updated nearly daily.


Freebooks for doctors http://www.freebooks4doctors.com/

A collection of 650 medical books in various languages. The books can be browsed and searches on title or by subject.


Commercial e-book projects


World eBook Library http://www.netlibrary.net/ beware of http://www.netlibrary.com/!

Some 500,000 digital books available for only US$8,95 per annum


Netlibrary http://www.netlibrary.com/ beware of http://www.netlibrary.net/

One of the early commercial digital book providers. It is a typical library model, and subscriptions cost serious money.


Additional Information:

Price, G. (2006) Jacso Reviews Google Book Search and Discusses Amazon Search Inside the Book. Resourceshelf. http://www.resourceshelf.com/2006/11/07/8767/


Price G. (2006) History and Overview: Microsoft Live Book Search (Beta) Now Online; Medical Content Being Added to MS Live Academic. Resourceshelf. http://www.resourceshelf.com/2006/12/06/microsoft-book-search-goes-live-online/


Jacso, P. (2006) Google Book Search. Peter's Digital Reference Shelf. http://www.gale.com/reference/peter/googlebooks.htm



WG 20130609


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