McGill University Library has recently attained an important milestone: Over the course of the past 6 months, over 13,500 digitized books have been uploaded to the Internet Archive (IA). With over 8,000,000 fully accessible eBooks and texts, the Internet Archive has become the foremost resource for accessing digitized material. IA’s close collaboration with over 1,100 Library institutions enables the collection to be available to a vast network of researchers. Furthermore, the Internet Archive allows our collection to be harvested into HathiTrust, a digital partnership between major research institutions and libraries.
The McGill University Library Internet Archive collection consists of digitized materials from different branches of the McGill Library, ranging from Rare Books and Special collections to notable collections such as Chapbooks and the McGill Student Publications. Our digital collection is growing steadily every week. Because most of the digitized items originated as patron digitization requests, the focus of our online collection is curated around user centric needs. Our collection can be searched and browsed using a variety of topics and categories. Below is a screenshot of our Internet Archive Library home page.
The McGill University Library Internet Archive collection
Books uploaded to the Internet Archive are full-text searchable and can be read online with the Internet Archive’s built-in book reader or downloaded as a PDF. IA also provides mobile device-friendly formats including EPUB and Kindle. Below is an example of a book as viewed from the built-in Internet Archive book reader.
Example of a book as viewed from the built-in Internet Archive book reader. https://archive.org/details/McGillLibrary-104381-365
This initiative could not have been done without the help and support of Sarah Severson, Megan Chellew, Dan Romano and Elizabeth Thomson. A special thanks to Elizabeth who worked diligently to create the necessary tools to batch load digitized material and records into IA and HathiTrust.
You can find newly digitized McGill materials by clicking on this RSS feed link or visiting the McGill University Library Internet Archive page.
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
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)
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.
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
it’s a pretty great tool for discovery!
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
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.
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