Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance

By Anand Chitipothu

Open Library will be down from 5:00PM to 6:00PM SF Time (PDT, UTC/GMT -7 hours) on Tuesday October 21, 2014 due to a scheduled hardware maintenance.

We’ll post updates here and on @openlibrary twitter.

Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATES:

5:00 PM - maintenance started

5:35 PM: maintenance completed and openlibrary.org is back online.

Time travel through millions of historic Open Library images

By Jessamyn West

The BBC has an article about Kalev Leetaru’s project to extract images from millions of Open Library pages.

You can read about how it works…

The Internet Archive had used an optical character recognition (OCR) program to analyse each of its 600 million scanned pages in order to convert the image of each word into searchable text. As part of the process, the software recognised which parts of a page were pictures in order to discard them.

Mr Leetaru’s code used this information to go back to the original scans, extract the regions the OCR program had ignored, and then save each one as a separate file in the Jpeg picture format. The software also copied the caption for each image and the text from the paragraphs immediately preceding and following it in the book. Each Jpeg and its associated text was then posted to a new Flickr page, allowing the public to hunt through the vast catalogue using the site’s search tool.

“I think one of the greatest things people will do is time travel through the images,” Mr Leetaru said.

… or just check out some of the results. Images plus citations plus metadata! We couldn’t be happier. Free to use with no restrictions.

Image from page 301 of "The New England magazine" (1887)

Image from page 788 of "St. Nicholas [serial]" (1873)

Image from page 210 of "Farmington, Connecticut, the village of beautiful homes" (1906)

Image from page 1121 of "The Saturday evening post" (1839)

Image from page 368 of "New England; a human interest geographical reader" (1917)

Image from page 902 of "Canadian grocer July-December 1896" (1889)

Image from page 249 of "Gleanings in bee culture" (1874)

Image from page 411 of "The Canadian druggist" (1889)

I even found a photo of my house!

Image from page 75 of "A text book of the geography, history, constitution and civil government of Vermont; also Constitution and civil government of the U. S., a publication expressly prepared to comply with Vermont's state school laws" (1915)

Read more details at the Internet Archive’s blog or on Flickr’s “Welcome to the Commons” post.

Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance

By Anand Chitipothu

Open Library will be down from 6:00PM to 8:00PM SF Time (PDT, UTC/GMT -7 hours) on August 19, 2014 due to a scheduled hardware maintenance.

We’ll post updates here and on @openlibrary twitter.

Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATE 6:45PM PST: The hardware maintenance is complete and openlibrary.org is back online! 

Wikimania London!

By Jessamyn West

Internet Archive at Wikimedia

The Internet Archive had a booth at Wikimania in London. The booth was in the Community Village section of the conference. We hope you stopped by and said hello, grabbed a sticker or a handout, and learned a bit more about our book scanning projects and told us what you were up to. If you’d like to pick up digital copies of our handouts, PDFs are here.

We also went to a lot of programs that were really worthwhile, the free/open culture vibe was palpable and exciting with 2500+ people all getting together to find ways to share more content in more ways. A few other documents we picked up that might be interesting to other folks.

For people who like working on Wikipedia but are often flustered by paywalls, you should know about the Wikipedia Library which has a project to help editors access reliable sources. The Wikipedia Loves Libraries project is gearing up for a month of wiki-workshops and edit-a-thons at libraries around Open Access Week in October/November.

Open library’s been doing that the whole time…. for free

By Jessamyn West

Amazon’s “Kindle Unlimited” announcement has been helping raise awareness of Open Library.

Last week, Amazon informed us that for ten dollars per month, Kindle users can have unlimited access to over six hundred thousand books in its library. But it shouldn’t cost a thing to borrow a book, Amazon, you foul, horrible, profiteering enemies of civilization. For a monthly cost of zero dollars, it is possible to read six million e-texts at the Open Library, right now. On a Kindle, or any other tablet or screen thing.

Don’t forget our easy to use interface or downloading with your choice of device or software!
sesame street book of nonsense in the bookreader

Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance (completed)

By Jessamyn West

Open Library will be down from 5:00PM to 7:00PM SF time (PDT, UTC/GMT -7 hours) on July 8, 2014 due to scheduled hardware maintenance. We’ll post updates here and on @openlibrary twitter. Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATE: 5:50PM PDT – the hardware maintenance is complete and openlibrary.org is back online.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 11.08.55

The Internet’s Own Boy premieres today

By Jessamyn West

The Internet’s Own Boy, the documentary about Aaron Swartz, premieres online and in theaters today. You can watch it on the Internet Archive. From the film’s website

The Internet’s Own Boy follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

Here is Aaron’s blog post, from 2007, announcing Open Library. We wouldn’t have gotten to where we are without him and we miss him.

Our goal is to build the world’s greatest library, then put it up on the Internet free for all to use and edit. Books are the place you go when you have something you want to share with the world — our planet’s cultural legacy. And never has there been a bigger attempt to bring them all together.

Here are his slides from his “Building the Open Library” talk also in 2007.

screen shot from Aaron Swartz's slides, Building Open Library

Resolved: Open Library unexpected downtime

By Jessamyn West

Update: This should now be resolved. 6 pm PDT.

Adobe had an unprecedented license server outage for most of the day on May 15th (PDT). Users have experienced issues checking books out of our lending library, mainly getting various Adobe errors. We are still trying to resolve the issues resulting from Adobe’s server outage and hope to fix the problem as quickly as possible. We’ve been in contact with our license provider and we hope to have it fixed soon. In the meantime lending/reading books via the BookReader is still functioning normally.

Apologies for the inconvenience. We’ll update the help page when it’s fixed.

Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance (Completed)

By Anand Chitipothu

Open Library will be down from 5:00PM to 6:00PM SF time (PDT, UTC/GMT -7 hours) on April 1, 2014 due to a scheduled hardware maintenance.

We’ll post updates here and on @openlibrary twitter.

Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATE 5:23PM PDT – openlibrary.org is back online now.

Open Library Scheduled Maintenance (Completed)

By Anand Chitipothu

Open Library will be down from 4:00PM to 4:30PM SF time (PDT, UTC/GMT -7 hours) on March 25, 2014 due to a scheduled hardware maintenance.

We’ll post updates here and on @openlibrary twitter.

Thank you for your cooperation.

UPDATE 4:45PM – openlibrary.org is back online now.