Sorry for the lack of blogging, but I’ve been unusually busy of late. Here’s a round-up of some of the links I’ve collected over the past week or two.
Today, if you want to access a typical out-of-print book, you have only one choice — fly to one of a handful of leading libraries in the country and hope to find it in the stacks.
I laughed out loud when I read this. As far as I know, all libraries have online catalogues so you can check their holdings remotely, and many have interlibrary loan programs. And has this man never heard of a used bookstore? You can even search for millions of out-of-print books on sites like Bookfinder, buy them online and have them mailed to your home.
And the Open Book Alliance’s response.
Chris Thompson’s East Bay Express article “The Case Against Google Books,” about Peter Brantley, Pamela Samuelson, and Geoff Nunberg and their opposition to the Google Books settlement.
Lewis Hyde’s New York Times Book Review essay on orphan works: “There are millions of them out there, and they are gumming up the world of publishing…. [When] Carnegie Mellon University tried to digitize a collection of out-of-print books, one of every five turned out to be orphaned. When Cornell tried to post a collection of agricultural monographs online, half were orphans. The United States Holocaust Museum owns millions of pages of archival documents that it can neither publish nor digitize.”
Sam Roberts’ New York Times article about the Leon Levy Foundation’s grants to institutions to “preserve and digitize their archival collections and to make them available online to scholars and to the public.” This could uncover many historical treasures that have been locked away in uncatalogued archives.
Michael Ruane’s Washington Post article, “WWII GI Returns Books Taken from Germany Six Decades Ago,” with “anti-Nazi librarians hiding their books.”
Motoko Rich’s New York Times article about library ebooks, in which “some publishers worry that the convenience of borrowing books electronically could ultimately cut into sales of print editions.”
Survival of the Book’s post on the Entertainment Weekly Q&A with Dacre Stoker about the Dracula sequel: “We grew up thinking, Isn’t it too bad that the copyright was lost in the 1930s?… When [the vampire craze] was just beginning to pick up, we said, ‘You know what? We better get this thing done.'”