Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance

Open Library will be down from 4:30PM to approximately 5:00PM (PST, UTC/GMT -7 hours) on Thursday November 20, 2014 due to scheduled hardware maintenance. We’ll post updates here and on @openlibrary twitter. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance

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.

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Time travel through millions of historic Open Library images

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.

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Open Library Scheduled Hardware Maintenance

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! 

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Wikimania London!

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.

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