Google Books: Is It Good for History?

The September 2007 issue of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives is now available online, and it is worth reading Rob Townsend’s article “Google Books: Is It Good for History?” The article is an update of Rob’s much-debated post on the AHA blog in May, and I believe this revised version now reads as the best succinct critique of Google Books available (at least from the perspective of scholars). Rob finds fault with Google’s poor scans, frequently incorrect metadata, and too-narrow interpretation of the public domain.

Regular readers of this blog know of my aversion to jeremiads about Google, but Rob’s piece is well-reasoned and I agree with much of what he says.

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