Saturday, November 05, 2005


Google Print

Everyone's gaga about Google Print, it seems. I'm underwhelmed. You can only move backwards and forwards one page at a time from the page you happen to land on. It's like trying to view a landscape through a pin hole. Access to certain pages is inexplicably restricted. For example, some pages (e.g. 192, 224) of Rudolf Hirzel's Der Dialog: Ein literarhistorischer Versuch are off limits. Why? The book was published in 1895, for crying out loud. Surely the copyright has run out by now. The much-vaunted search capability is defective as well -- a search of "wilamowitz inauthor:hirzel" turns up "42 (vgl. ouch Wilamowitz" on page 104. Ouch, indeed. Look at the actual page and it's auch, not ouch, and 12, not 42. Once you do find a page you're interested in, you can't copy and paste text from that page. Too bad Google didn't put all that effort into adding complete public domain texts, in readable and downloadable form, to Project Gutenberg. That would have been a genuine service to scholarship.

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