[INDOLOGY] Helping each other

James Hartzell james.hartzell at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 12:55:07 UTC 2014

Just a comment on Dominik's far-sighted remarks.

When I was a student at Harvard, one of the very best things about being
there was the amazing library;  I could find pretty much anything in there.
When i was at Columbia, the library was almost as good, except that
frequently key volumes were missing, since there were no locks on the
windows out onto the street and evidently over the years some wiley
students had tossed out books to their friends;  but with Interlibrary loan
I could fill the gaps.

The more texts that are uploaded to archive.org, the closer we (gradually)
move to a global electronic library with everything one needs for research.


On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>

> Dear colleagues,
> Ten years ago, we were asking each other for fonts.  Today, we're more
> often asking each other for PDFs.  Many of us, including myself, have found
> the members of this forum wonderfully helpful in swapping books and
> articles.  It's great.  But maybe we can go an extra mile.
> I was just reading a blog
> <http://juretriglav.si/standards-for-graphic-presentation/> about
> improving the display of information in graphs and diagrams.  The author,
> Jure Triglav, has discovered some important forgotten standards from the
> early twentieth century that richly deserve to be revived and put into
> practice by authors and publishers.  Never mind that.  But at one point,
> Triglav says,
>> What can we do next?
>> As a first step, we should *bring this historic knowledge back to life*.
>> Find copies of the reports and digitize them, upload them to archive.org
>> so that they may never disappear again.
> Reading this confirmed my own instinct that this is a useful thing to do.
> I have for some time, and very slowly, been uploading important indological
> books to archive.org.  I've uploaded Gode's Literature/Culture series,
> Kane's History of Dharmasastra (1st ed), and several other foundational
> texts.  Others have uploaded the entire Anandashrama Sanskrit Series, the
> entire Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, and there's much more besides.
> So, I would encourage all indologists to think of archive.org as a place
> for depositing digitized texts of important indological works.
> There are some details worth considering, in no particular order:
>    - First, only upload out-of-copyright works.  Otherwise we'll create
>    difficulties in the future.
>    - Second, the interface for uploading files at archive.org is quite
>    annoying, at least for Linux users.  We could petition archive.org to
>    improve this.
>    - Third, metadata is really vital.  If you're uploading a text,
>    provide a proper bibliographical entry for the work.  Cut and paste from
>    your own bibliography, or from a book, or whatever.  But make sure the
>    description is spelled correctly.  If you have the energy, add a link to
>    worldcat.org or openlibrary.org (and vice versa for openlibrary).
>    - I'm not sure about this, but I think it's useful to keep the "title"
>    short.  Archive.org seems to use the title for constructing the URL string
>    that will call up the book.  These URLs will increasingly be used for
>    reference.  It's helpful if they are not extremely long.  So, if a book has
>    one of those 18th century "a true and veritable account of a journey in
>    search of ..." titles, make the main "title" entry just a short title, and
>    put the full text of the title somewhere else.  In a note field, perhaps.
> When indological colleagues request a PDF that you have, it's much more
> farsighted to upload the work to archive.org and provide the forum with a
> link to that copy, than just to offer it through dropbox or as an email
> attachment.  If we use archive.org, we're meeting a present need, but at
> the same time building a permanent resource for the future rather than
> merely.
> Finally, please don't let my comments stop you swapping private links and
> PDFs if that's all you have time to do!  Done is Better Than Perfect.
> Best,
> Dominik
> _______________________________________________
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James Hartzell, PhD
Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC)
The University of Trento, Italy

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