Finding Indological full-book PDFs on Google Books

Richard MAHONEY r.mahoney at ICONZ.CO.NZ
Sat Jun 16 06:07:20 UTC 2007

Dear Jonathan,

On Sat, 2007-06-16 at 16:39, Jonathan Silk wrote:

> Having now read the article pointed out by Richard, and the comments
>  appended to that article, some of which question the problems with
>  quality raised in the article, I wonder whether there might be some
>  significant differences between the ways some materials (e.g., those 
> in 'arcane' areas like 'Eastern Studies') are handled. One more
>  example--if you care to, download or just look at the scan of
>  Burnouf's Introduction a l'histoire du buddhisme indien. Just as a
>  lark start at page 211 = the pdf's 251 (picked, I assure you, entirely
>  at random) and look at a few pages. Given this kind of quality, why
>  bother at all?

The advantage for Google seems clear enough. But what I can't fathom is
the enthusiasm with which many librarians offer up their collections to
this kind of enterprise. This phenomenon (mania?) has even reached our

A week or two back I was asked to attend a national workshop on digital
archiving. The participants were, for the most part, varsity librarians
tasked with the management of institutional repositories.

Looking back, I can't recall any discussion of the problems associated
with the accurate description of digital materials -- the metadata.  At
the time this struck me as odd. (It is an area where the archival
software that most of use is lamentably weak.)

What to me was stranger still, was that discussion only really became
animated around the issue of how one was to most effectively expose all
of one's institution's materials to Google. Strange times indeed!

Kind regards,


Richard MAHONEY | internet:
Littledene      | telephone/telefax (man.): +64 3 312 1699
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OXFORD, NZ      | email: r.mahoney at
Indica et Buddhica: Materials for Indology and Buddhology

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