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When Books Go Digital

Here’s the PowerPoint I used for a presentation at a faculty meeting at North Shore Community College earlier this week, with all the relevant links below:


  • NOBLE OverDrive — NOBLE’s collection of downloadable ebook and audiobooks
  • OverDrive’s Help Site — Here’s help for using different ebook readers, audio players and mobile devices with our OverDrive collection

Public Domain Books

  • Project Gutenberg — “Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.”
  • ManyBooks.net — A great source of public domain ebooks which can be downloaded in various formats. RTF (Rich Text File) works well with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.
  • Diary of Samuel Pepys — A seventeenth century diary is presented in blog format in this beautiful site managed by Phil Gyford

Internet Archive

  • Internet Archive — “The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.”
  • Worcester History Images from the Internet Archive — A post from my personal blog about the capturing images from books in the Internet Archive
  • Internet Archive Images — My Flickr set
  • Riverbank — Example of one of my Internet Archive images posted on Flickr. Note the link back to the original book on the Internet Archive site. (I also use these images in comments on Flickr to add historical perspective to recent photographs, as in this example: Riverbank

Google Books

  • Salem Diner — A regular Google search
  • Salem Diner — Switch from “Everything” to “Books” to get a very different set of results. (The Books option is hiding under More in the left sidebar)
  • Wenham ice — Quotation marks make this a phrase search
  • Lillian Randolph — This Google Books search was limited to magazines
  • Lillian Randolph — News note from Jet magazine
  • Embed Code — The code to embed a page is under the Link option
  • Lillian Randolph — Webpage with embedded page from Google Books
  • Google Books Advanced Search — Searching for the expression “to touch pitch and not be defiled in books by Anthony Trollope. This search worked well enough, but I had to wade through multiple editions books by this prolific author. Since I am very interested in Trollope’s work, I added on edition of each of his books to My Library, which makes this kind of searching easier for me.
  • Searching My Books — This search for Red Cloud is limited to the books I have saved to my library. I was only interested in Red Cloud as it related to Willa Cather, who grew up in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Although I have the Willa Cather books as a separate “bookshelf,” there’s no way I can limit my search to just that bookshelf, so occasionally I get irrelevant hits. If this became a problem, I could set up different Google accounts with different libraries: one for Willa Cather, one for diner books, etc.
  • Importing ISBNs into Google Books — If you have a file of ISBNs from LibraryThing, a biliographic management program, etc., you can import them into Google Books. (You can scan ISBNs into a file using a smartphone with an app like Barcode2File.)

Google Ngrams

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