I have a hefty number of FILES – saved PDFs that are old books, scanned from the likes of google.books or Archive.org. Must admit that there are so many, they reside in a couple of places (must do a bit of housekeeping…); so, at times, I’m never sure if I’ve merely looked through a book online OR if I have downloaded it. I have learned to DOWNLOAD, because once a “publish on demand” kind of book appears, the original scans seem more difficult to locate (and sometimes disappear).
(Do you think these “publishers” don’t just download the images – print it into a book – and sell it for a cost that often well exceeds the cost of an original printing found in the used-book market?)
I’ve begun to add a few books – online LINKS – to the page “A Little List“. This page has a links to used bookstores – online shops – book titles from MY LIBRARY – and now links to Online Books. These books will tend to be:
- Old Books (often 19th century; sometimes early 20th century)
- Letters – Diaries – Biography, or a combination of the three
I will keep sites that offer ONLINE primary material under the pages Diaries online and Letters online. Sites like these that offer, (especially), digital images of their holdings are pretty special! Some offer, in addition, transcriptions of their images; a few will offer the transcriptions only, but in “fully transcribed” editions – often with notes and images. Many are labors of love by an interested independent scholar; most represent the work of larger repositories.
There will be those sites that offer transcriptions of old publications, which, due to the volume of material, is “as good as it gets” at the moment. I can think of the Letters of Sir Walter Scott, or the diaries of John Waldie.
Online books listed, on the other hand, are often the publications of later relatives and are often the closest we (the general audience) will ever get to the original materials – most of which probably remain in family (private) hands.
The books I’ve so far “attached” to this “A Little List” page are:
- Letters of Harriet, Countess Granville (2 volumes)
- Some Records of the Later Life of Harriet, Countess Granville
- Thackeray and His Daughter: the Letters and Journals of Anne Thackeray Ritchie
- The Journal of the Hon. Henry Edward Fox