Inside the books of the Internet Archive

Internet archive has started to extract images with no known copyright restrictions from their millions of scanned books and post them to Flickr.

All of the images from "An alphabet of animals" (1865) at https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/tags/bookidMcGillLibrary-PN970_S5_A5_1865-2023

All of the images from “An alphabet of animals” (1865) at https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/tags/bookidMcGillLibrary-PN970_S5_A5_1865-2023

Notably each image includes a variety of subject tags extracted from the books original metadata with information like the time period, book publisher or the author so you can search through the collection in many ways.

Image from page 9 of "An alphabet of animals" (1865)

Image from page 9 of “An alphabet of animals” (1865)

Most importantly they have included snippets of the text right before and after the pictures plus a link back to the full book in so you can see the image in context.

Full-book-An-alphabet-of-animals-1865

An alphabet of animals (1865) full book at the Internet Archive

These are just some examples from our Chapbook collection but there are (as of October 22, 2014) over 2.6 million more images up at their account.

With the algorithm for image detection isn’t always perfect, see

Image from page 4 of "The good shepherd" (1845)

and

Image from page 6 of "Park's Tom Thumb" (1836)

it’s a pretty great tool for discovery!

Found on the web: Digital archive of restaurant menus

The New York Public Library recently released a digital archive of restaurant menus dating from 1851 to 2008. Not only have they digitized the historical menus they are in the process of crowdsourcing the transcriptions of the menus with 14,592 of 17,423 completed so far. This is opening up not only the menus but the data inside.

For example it’s now incredibly easy to find out that macaroni and cheese appears on 33 individual menus and shows up as early as 1890. It also raises question such as why did the dish’s popularity spike in 1919?

New York Public Library data on Macaroni And Cheese

New York Public Library data on Macaroni And Cheese

 

The NYPL is also offering up the data as a quick CSV download if you want to play with it and they have a public API of the menus (their first such effort) if that is your thing.

This digital archive represents a great open research resources for a variety of fields. For the design or marketing majors you could study the evolution of what the menu looks like. Or you could use it as a primary source in an economics paper on changing prices of a t-bone steak.

For more resources on food scholarship here at Mcgill you can check out the open access journal CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures or you can come visit our Rare Books and Special Collections reading room and ask to see the cookbook collection. 

eScholarship: A novel as thesis

Guest post written by K. Joan Harrison


Did you know that past McGill English students have submitted a novel instead of a thesis in requirement for the Master of Arts degree? If you are looking for some fiction to give you a break over the semester you can read these great stories by downloading them from eScholarship, McGill’s open access institutional repository.

A few interesting ones to check out


K. Joan Harrison is a McGill School of Information Studies student who has been working with the Digitization & Delivery team to digitize and upload McGill theses to eScholarship, our open access institutional repository.

Found on the web: A guide to open access images

Today I wanted to feature this great guide to finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media created by Carli Spina at Harvard Law School library.

Its main feature is a good list of sites that have open access images making it easy to find material you can freely use in your research or teaching. I was happy to see some of my personal favourites included like Flickr Commons for historical photographs and the Rijksmuseum for reproductions of old masters artwork.

Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media by Harvard Law School Library.  URL: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/Finding_Images

Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media by Harvard Law School Library. URL: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/Finding_Images

Songs without music : aesthetic dimensions of law and justice.

Guest post by K. Joan Harrison


One of the most interesting theses I have come across is an interdisciplinary thesis written by Desmond Manderson for the Doctor of Civil Laws degree in 1997.

Abstract: “Songs without music” is about aesthetics, law, and justice.  It is written in a creative and novel manner, as explained in the abstract: “I attempt to develop my argument by aesthetic as well as rational means. Music is the focus for this. Each chapter is based on a different musical form, and each uses music as comparison and metaphor. But more than this, in different ways and in different styles, each chapter embodies a complex of aesthetic resonances which relate to the argument the thesis develops. Songs Without Music has been designed not only to talk about aesthetic meaning, but to embody it.”

The table of contents is divided into phrases, bars, and units – each with a musical theme.  Dr. Manderson went on to publish Songs Without Music : Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice in 2000, and taught for ten years at McGill before moving to the Australian National University (“Professor Desmond Manderson,” Australian National University, last modified August 21, 2014, https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/manderson-dra).

Table of contents. Manderson, D. (1996). Songs without music: Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice.

Table of contents. Manderson, D. (1996). Songs without music: Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice.

K. Joan Harrison is a McGill School of Information Studies student who has been working with the Digitization & Delivery team this summer to digitize and upload McGill theses to eScholarship, our open access institutional repository.

The McGill Retro Thesis Digitization Project

thesis_0A proposal was made in the summer of 2011 to digitize all retro McGill theses. The goal was an ambitious one: to digitize all archival theses from Rare Books and Special collections that did not already exist on microfilm from the National Library of Canada. The period would span over 80 years, from 1881 all the way to 1966.  A project launch date set for spring 2012.

The equipment consisted of two high-production auto-feed scanners for loose sheet pages and a large-format scanner for over-sized material such as maps, commonly found in geographic papers. Bound theses would be digitized on the APT2400, the auto page turner that was purchased several years before and was best-suited for digitizing hardcover books.

Not only were theses digitized and processed, meta-data were entered and PDFs were uploaded for each thesis record in eScholarship@McGill, the digital repository that stores electronic theses and other student publications.

To date  – two years since the project was launched – two decades of material have been digitized and uploaded, including a record 5000 theses and over 712,000 digitized pages for the period between 1946-66.

Most of the theses were scanned as sequences of full-colour raw images. After a quality check was done for missing pages, the raw images were processed and cropped into derivative files and assembled into a text searchable PDF. Text pages were converted to bitonal, while photos, illustrations, and diagrams were kept in full-colour. Many challenges were encountered during the digitization, including detached photos, fragile paper, faded text, and ink that left a powdery residue on the scanner. Despite these issues, we have managed to digitize every thesis and ensure the best reproduction possible. The process is continuing with the plan to complete all of the digitization up to the year 1881.

APT book scanner

The Automatic Page turner (APT2400) digitization system.

Figure after p206. John T. Copp. 1962. The Canadian general election of 1908. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=113604&silo_library=GEN01

Figure after p206. John T. Copp. 1962. The Canadian general election of 1908. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=113604&silo_library=GEN01

Found in the stacks: Almanaque de “Tierra y libertad”

This volume was digitized as a part of our on demand service with the request originally coming from a professor in the United States who was looking to borrow the book through our Inter Library Loans program. When the ILL staff (thanks Patrick!) noticed that it was rare and ours was the only copy in Canada they sent to us for digitization. In the end the professor was sent the catalogue link to the digital copy and we transferred the book to our Rare Books & Special Collections for safe keeping.

One of our liaison librarians, Juanita Jara de Súmar noted about the book “it was commissioned as a complement to the weekly published by an Anarchist group related to the Confederación de Trabajo, the main Communist party involved with the big Internacional Socialista in Spain that fought against Franco in later years.”

Cover page of Almanaque de "Tierra y libertad". (1912).

Cover page of Almanaque de “Tierra y libertad”. (1912).

City of Montreal key plans showing arrangement of plates

City of Montreal key plans showing arrangement of plates. Canada 1912. By Chas. E. Goad Co. Civil Engineers.  From Volume 1 of Atlas of the city of Montreal and vicinity : in four volumes, from official plans, special surveys, showing cadastral numbers, buildings & lots

City of Montreal key plans showing arrangement of plates. Canada 1912. By Chas. E. Goad Co. Civil Engineers. From Volume 1 of Atlas of the city of Montreal and vicinity : in four volumes, from official plans, special surveys, showing cadastral numbers, buildings & lots

You can download a full resolution version from our catalogue or you can drop by anytime during Rare Books and Special Collections opening hours to consult the original. 

Close of up Plate 18 & 20. City of Montreal key plans showing arrangement of plates. Canada 1912. By Chas. E. Goad Co. Civil Engineers.

Close of up Plate 18 & 20. City of Montreal key plans showing arrangement of plates. Canada 1912. By Chas. E. Goad Co. Civil Engineers.

 

2 volumes of lectures (probably) by Gilles Basset des Rosiers

Two volumes of lectures, probably by Gilles Basset des Rosiers – v. 1. “Phisica generalis” and moral philosophy and v. 2. “Phisica particularis” (astronomy, physics, anatomy and physiology). The writer, J.B. Buron, named in the title statement, probably attended the Collège d’Harcourt, Paris.

While the original is unavailable during the renovations to the Osler Library of the History of Medicine you can download the digital copy through our catalogue

Basset des Rosiers, Gilles. 1743. Phisica data ab aegidio Basset celeberrimo professore in Harcurio et scripta a Joanne Baptista Buron in eadem scola auditore anno Domini 1743. http://www.library.mcgill.ca/hostedjournals/002218148.html.

Page 147. Basset des Rosiers, Gilles. 1743. Phisica data ab aegidio Basset celeberrimo professore in Harcurio et scripta a Joanne Baptista Buron in eadem scola auditore anno Domini 1743. http://www.library.mcgill.ca/hostedjournals/002218148.html.

Page 147. Basset des Rosiers, Gilles. 1743. Phisica data ab aegidio Basset celeberrimo professore in Harcurio et scripta a Joanne Baptista Buron in eadem scola auditore anno Domini 1743. http://www.library.mcgill.ca/hostedjournals/002218148.html.

Page 167. Basset des Rosiers, Gilles. 1743. Phisica data ab aegidio Basset celeberrimo professore in Harcurio et scripta a Joanne Baptista Buron in eadem scola auditore anno Domini 1743. http://www.library.mcgill.ca/hostedjournals/002218148.html.

Page 167. Basset des Rosiers, Gilles. 1743. Phisica data ab aegidio Basset celeberrimo professore in Harcurio et scripta a Joanne Baptista Buron in eadem scola auditore anno Domini 1743. http://www.library.mcgill.ca/hostedjournals/002218148.html.

Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts

From the cataloguing notes:

Catalogue of a collection of 238 manuscripts, chiefly in Persian, acquired by Ivanow, collected mainly in Northeastern India, and brought by Wood to McGill University; a few titles already in the libraries of McGill University have been appended.

Ivanow, W., & Wood, C. A. (1927). Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts. Page 1.

Ivanow, W., & Wood, C. A. (1927). Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts. Page 1.

Included is Wladimir’s handwritten catalogue preceded by a typescript title page labelled “rough notes” with Wood’s handwritten annotations followed by Wood’s handwritten revised title page and table of contents, and a typescript preface with Wood’s handwritten revisions; this is accompanied by a typescript copy placed in loose-leaf covers of the revised title page and preface, and an outline of the parts of the catalogue, together with various other short sections of related information.

Ivanow, W., & Wood, C. A. (1927). Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts. Page 3.

Ivanow, W., & Wood, C. A. (1927). Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts. Page 3.

The revised title page is dated: Bombay, 1927; the “rough notes” title page is dated Calcutta, India, 1928 and has Wood’s manuscript notations re publication possibilities dated 1934.

Ivanow, W., & Wood, C. A. (1927). Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts. Page 7.

Ivanow, W., & Wood, C. A. (1927). Annotated catalogue of the Casey A. Wood Collection of Persian, Arabic and Hindustani manuscripts. Page 7.

2 manuscripts one handwritten and typescript. The  handwritten manuscript is housed in a fall-down-back box 24 x 20 x 8 cm.