October 20, 2006

Google's Book Search

A posting by Larry Lessig on the ethics of Web 2.0 reminded me that I've been intending to explore Google's Book Search, now that it's had some time to mature. I'm amazed to find that the full text (missing 8 pages) of Thomas Chandler Haliburton's two-volume An Historical and Statistical Account of Nova-Scotia (1829) is available as a .pdf file. This was the first book I read, sometime in 1969, when I took it into my head to do my dissertation research in Nova Scotia. How things have changed... A search for nova scotia lunenburg, limiting to "Full view books" turns up a great many volumes, as does a search for nova scotia "annapolis valley". Wandering further into my own past interests, a Full view search for sarawak turns up a marvelous library of historical treatments...

While most of the Full view hoard is books long out of copyright, I found a remarkable trove of recent material when I tried a search for somalia. Case in point: Major Timothy Karcher's Understanding the "Victory Disease," From the Little Bighorn to Mogadishu and Beyond (2004), the foreword to which notes that

US military planners must possess a solid foundation of military history and cultural awareness to ensure battlefield and strategic success today and in the future...
Other happier serendipities: a search for "street directory" brought me Barnard's 1876 The City of New York: A Complete Guide, and a bit of exploring finds this magnificent advertisement for the Reactionary Lifter:
It will be seen that the EXERCISE, as well as the APPARATUS, is especially adapted for Ladies use. It is the only Machine in use by which a lady can take sufficient exercise without change of dress, soiled hands, awkward positions, etc.

Posted by oook at October 20, 2006 11:26 AM