Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Google Book Search - Shakespeare

Google Book Search has put together a page specifically on Shakespeare, which ties in with their sponsorship of some theatre perfomances in New York's Central Park this summer.

A sidebar on the page suggests "Take a Literary Field Trip - Download Google Earth to visit the Globe Theater and other Shakespearean landmarks right from your desktop.", but unfortunately it doesn't provide a KML file link on the page to actually provide this tour.

There is also no actual search box on the page, so although you can browse through the various Shakespearean plays by title, you cant do a simple search for a word, or half remembered piece of dialog - surely some mistake from a search engine!

The problems that are confronting Google as it attempts to digitize Shakespeare's works (as well as other books) is best summed up by the blog "Reflective Librarian" and his posting at http://reflectivelibrarian.blogspot.com/2006/06/google-botches-shakespeare-ebooks.html

His posting explains the many problems with Google books, its short comings, and its many problems……sloppiness being the biggest one. Another blogger who states the same thing is Bill Trippe located at http://www.billtrippe.com/archives/2006/06/google_hacks_to.html

I should know because I have been involved in producing ebooks on the web for a number of years. (see http://www.bookyards.com ). When Google announced their digital project, I felt that there was no longer any purpose in doing our digital project. This perception was wrong....Google's project is too ambitious, resulting in the confusion and mess that it finds itself presently in.

If you want Shakespeare (for free), just go to

We have also compiled a good collection of other digital libraries with books available for downloading. Just go to Bookyards “Library Collections - E Books” at http://www.bookyards.com/links.html?type=links&category_id=1780
There are approximately 350 digital libraries separated alphabetically and by category, with over 200,000 ebooks......ebooks that are vastly superior and better organized than what Google books is offering.
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