Amelia Earhart, Google Books and the coming research Revolution!

Posted by on December 12, 2008

There’s a revolution coming–and it doesn’t involve weapons!

What I’m talking about is the revolution in information, and in particular libraries.  I know many have talked about this, and about how the Internet has been a game changer, but until just a few months ago, I don’t think it was necessarily the case.

Throw that out the window!

Let’s look at it from my perspective….history that is.  Usually when I’m researching topics for my blog, I’ll hit the library and then follow up with sources from the web, this way I get a balanced approach as well as good information for my topic of choice.

But now, I don’t have to.  Example in point:  magazine back issues.  In this last year, I’ve found full-text back issues on the web…here’s the list:

Sports Illustrated: http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/

Time-Life: http://www.time.com/time/archive

LIFE: (to a certain extent): http://images.google.com/hosted/life

Popular Mechanics: http://www.google.com/books?id=J98DAAAAMBAJ

Popular Science: http://www.google.com/books?id=2ikDAAAAMBAJ

LOC: Newspaper Project: http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/

Google Newspaper Project (Archives): http://news.google.com/archivesearch

This is just a partial sample..and it’s revolutionizing my research!

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(Source: NARA)

Now, let’s take a popular topic such as Amelia Earhart.  Sure, I can Google her name and come up with dozens of websites that have information on her and her life.

(Source: NARA)

However, by using my full-text resources mentioned above, I can get revelant, informative articles from the time period she was alive.  Now, this is not to discount any new revelations from modern times, but having information and opinions on her life from her own time can put a different perspective on things.

To help explain, here’s a partial list of full-text resources from her time period that I’ve found:

Popular Mechanics, March 1935, pg. 321

Popular Science Monthly, October 1929, pg. 55

Popular Science, September 1928, pg. 47

Now, what do you think?  Am I crazy?

How does this change the library game?

Does it?–Does to me……

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