The Digital Public Library of America: Coming Together

I'm just back from the Digital Public Library of America meeting in Chicago, and like many others I found the experience inspirational. Just two years ago a small group convened at the Radcliffe Institute and came up with a one-sentence sketch for this new library: An open, distributed network of comprehensive online resources that would … Continue reading The Digital Public Library of America: Coming Together

What Scholars Want from the Digital Public Library of America

[A rough transcript of my talk at the Digital Public Library of America meeting at Harvard on March 1, 2011. To permit unguarded, open discussion, we operated under the Chatham House Rule, which prevents attribution of comments, but I believe I'm allowed to violate my own anonymity.] I was once at a meeting similar to … Continue reading What Scholars Want from the Digital Public Library of America

Mass Digitization of Books: Exit Microsoft, What Next?

So Microsoft has left the business of digitizing millions of books—apparently because they saw it as no business at all. This leaves Microsoft's partner (and our partner on the Zotero project), the Internet Archive, somewhat in the lurch, although Microsoft has done the right thing and removed the contractual restrictions on the books they digitized … Continue reading Mass Digitization of Books: Exit Microsoft, What Next?

Google Book Search Begins Adding Quality Control Measures

As predicted in this space six months ago, Google has added the ability for users to report missing or poorly scanned pages in their Book Search. (From my post "Google Books: Champagne or Sour Grapes?": "Just as they have recently added commentary to Google News, they could have users flag problematic pages.") I'll say it … Continue reading Google Book Search Begins Adding Quality Control Measures

Tony Grafton on Digital Texts and Reading

Anthony Grafton was the first person to turn me onto intellectual history. His seminar on ideas in the Renaissance was one of the most fascinating courses I took at Princeton, and I still remember well Tony rocking in his seat, looking a bit like a young Karl Marx, making brilliant connections among a broad array … Continue reading Tony Grafton on Digital Texts and Reading