Thursday, September 17, 2009

Really free chemistry books

With pleasure I read Analogue or Digital? - Both, Please. Funnily, I just created MP3 (or, preferably Ogg Vorbis, superior but hardly any support by commercial companies, who rather seem to pay license fees) directly from the CD.

Anyway... the blog wanders of to Google introducing searchable books, with many out-of-copyright. I was wondering how many chemistry books the pre-1923 book set included, and that actually sums up to about 41 thousand books, just for the chemistry search term.

There is quite cool stuff there, like the English translation of the works of Lavoisier.

This is really cool! I can just download this onto my eReader (which I don't have yet anyway, but my Dell laptop will do fine; if only the PDF was broken), but this actually allows me to read all the stuff I read about when doing History of Chemistry in the last year it was given in Nijmegen, back in 1993. Which was funny in itself, as the course was for second year students, but one of my introduction tutors suggested me to take it, which I did. It was a great course, by a great teacher, btw! It is a shame that the course was lost from the curriculum, much like I hated to see electrochemistry and cheminformatics lost in Nijmegen. Severe and very regrettable loss of diversity in the education there.

Anyways, I'm going to need hours to browse all the goodies there. Did you spot the 1913 copy of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics yet?

I am looking forward to seeing people starting text mining on these books... anyway?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent idea. That's one thing I love about Google books: You find stuff there you never even suspected that it exists.

    Maybe there's even some lost knowledge out there. There must be thousands of books that noone really read for decades.