I <3 Google Books

In their quest to absorb all of humanity into a gigantic databank (and make us love them for it), Google has put up a massive collection of out-of-print, post-copyright books.  I really liked the idea of this from a conceptual perspective when I found out about this a few years ago; even if I don’t particularly care about alternative late eighteenth century methods for gelding horses, I’m sure someone does.  It’s just a good general principle to make sure that books don’t die.

But I recently found out that a tremendous amount of stuff has gone up from major university libraries, Michigan and Cal among them.  And (oh joy of joys!) this includes a tremendous amount of stuff THAT IS DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO MY THESIS!  Need something from Oladuah Equiano in his own words?  Here it is.  Need some Thomas Clarkson?  Here it is.  Need some William Wilberforce?  Here it is.  Need some Clarkson on Wilberforce?  Here it is.  No interlibrary loan, no travel expenses, no permission needed to get into restricted access shelves… original scanned pages of historic works are a few keystrokes away.  Forget not needing a reader pass–I don’t even need pants!

Plug me in, Google.  I love you.

Unfiled and not quite random thoughts follow:

1) A link to my Abolition bookshelf.

2) I’m feeling a very strong and previously undiscovered urge to try out Blogger.


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