Google Books doesn’t have everything.

13 10 2010

Score another one for ProfHacker. The day after I recommended it for discussing blogging as a course activity, there’s a post up that has yet more links specific to posts dealing with WordPress specifically for class. Looks like I’m going to have to try a class blog for labor history next semester!

But that’s not the most important post there from the last two days. This is. The author here recommends Mirlyn, the University of Michigan’s web portal, as a way to get around the metadata troubles in Google Books. The other suggestion was to use Mirlyn to get at digital material stored at a project that I had never heard of before: HathiTrust. Here’s the crucial part:

HathiTrust serves as a shared repository for digitized items from the member institutions. Many of these items are also included in Google Books, but some are not, such as rare items not held by a Google Library partner.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday testing that point, and yup I’m pretty sure it’s true. There is out of copyright stuff stuff on HathiTrust that you can get in full view which you can’t get on GoogleBooks. Furthermore, the Mirlyn interface is indeed a good way to find it because it will include links to the GoogleBooks and HathiTrust versions of such things when they exist. Oftentimes HathiTrust or even the Making of America are the only links to digital material there.

It feels like I just discovered a new potential treasure trove and I didn’t even have to leave my office! I’d write more, but I have a lot more searching to do.




One response

2 12 2010
The future of the historical research process is arriving faster than I thought. « More or Less Bunk

[…] I was wondering why HathiTrust had so much post-1923 full view work. This is the answer! While this isn’t an automatic solution to the full access hole in studying recent American history, it is a huge help for students with post-1923 topics already and will seemingly get even more helpful fast. […]

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