Tag Archives: google books

Google (Re)Discovers the 19th Century

An article over at the Chronicle of Higher Education looks at an interesting effect of Google's book digitization program:

Google Books is a kind of Victorian portal that takes me into a mare magnum of out-of-print authors, many of whom helped launch disciplines. Or who wrote essays, novels, and histories that did not transcend their time. Or who anonymously produced the paperwork of emerging bureaucracies, organizations, and businesses that, because printed, has been scanned and, because scanned, is now available.

I am not a scholar of the 19th century but have found its digitization to be one of the most fascinating new resource for understanding the centuries that precede it.

It is not by chance that the 19th century gave birth to projects such as the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED is the tip of an iceberg of genteel scholars, male and female, who had the time and resources to dig through vast mounds of material and make something of it. Those researchers lived in closer chronological proximity to their subjects than we do; they often worked amid the dimly lit bookshelves and attics of private homes. As a result, their experience of a historical subject captures a sense of intimacy that might otherwise be lost.


The Life Magazine Published the Week I Was Born

Here'sa link to the issue of the Life Magazine that was published the week I was born.  Check out the cool products being advertised, like the "New Admiral 25" Rectangular Color TV in slim new cabinets" or the Fujica Single 8 the "only instant load movie camera that fits into your pocket." Groovy!

By the way, you can check out the entire Life magazine archive at GoogleBooks.