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Library That You Can Visit Anytime From Anywhere

July 23, 2007

What if we had a library which carried every important book on earth, which could be accessed by every person (via some technology, say, Internet)? Not only free to the people but also letting them contribute and participate in it. That is the Open Library.

In the Open Library, teamed up with the Internet Archive’s book scanning project, you can

  • contribute by entering structure data in a new type of wiki
  • search a database for handing millions of dynamic records
  • read the full text of books
  • download the e-book version (pdf and DjVu)
  • get the paper book via the print-on-demand feature

(click to enlarge the pictures)

For the moment, the site is still at the early stage (some features aren’t available yet & only few books are listed) but you can try out their demo site to get the feeling of what they’re planning to offer.

This project also reminds me of British library’s Turning the Pages

I knew this online gallery few years back. When I first saw the sketches of Da Vinci, the hand-written copy of The History of England by Jane Austen, and Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”, I was amazed and ecstatic.

With Shockwave plug-in installed, you can turn the page of these copies and listen to the audio.

You can see the real picture of Alice and the drawings of Austen.

By the way, didn’t Austen have a sense of humor?

The History of England from the reign of Henry the 4th to the death of Charles the 1st


by a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian


To Miss Austen, eldest daughter of the Revd. George Austen, this Work is inscribed with all due respect by The Author

N.B. There will be very few Dates in this History.

The new version, Turning the Page 2.0, can run with Internet Explorer 🙄 on Windows XP SP2 or Vista with .NET 3.0 framework. However, with Firefox plus Shockwave plug-in I don’t have problem in playing with their features. Another alternative doesn’t require Shockwave but needs Windows Media Player for audio part.

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