Friday, December 4, 2009

Digital Overload!

Amazon's Kindle and Sony's eReaders may very well be all the rage among gift-givers this holiday season, but these ebook readers have a long ways to go before they can offer the bounty of digitized information available on the Internet. Digital projects like Google Books are among the best-known of these projects, which seek to make publicly available digitized editions of out-of-copyright books, maps, personal correspondence, sound and video recordings, and more.

In regards to books, some of the larger digital archiving projects are Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive (which goes way beyond books), and Project Gutenberg. A problem that exists with most digital projects, however, is that the efforts are spread out, and the methods of searching for books so diverse, that you're never quite sure what is truly available on the internet. Thankfully, John Mark Ockerbloom has come to the rescue with his digital books compilation site, The Online Books Page, which consolidates diverse resources from across the 'net (even diving into the Invisible Web) and brings them into an easily searchable format. Ockerbloom's project is really humming, and you can see the daily updates of what's being added to the plethora of ebooks daily.

For the food enthusiast, Michigan State University's Feeding America project will be of interest, with important cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century, such as Fannie Farmer's barn-burner of a cookbook, The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.

Many, many more projects like these exist, so I'll try to keep you updated on any new and interesting digitization project sites I come across. I hope you enjoy!


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